copper

  • African Battery Metals (LSE:ABM) has been on something of a roller coaster ride over the last few months. After its shares were suspended at the end of 2018, in the face of financial uncertainty, a successful refinancing programme allowed the company to return to trading in February with no debt and a healthy cash runway. Alongside this newfound financial security, the organisation has also undergone a significant management restructuring that has seen industry veterans Paul Johnson and Andrew Bell both become executive directors.

    As it stands, African Battery’s shares sit at 0.4p to give the business a modest valuation of just £1.33m. In this two-part interview, Johnson talks us through Bell and his plans to build on this base by using the firm’s strong core offering to create value for both new and existing shareholders.

    New beginnings

    African Battery’s significant transition began in December last year with the suspension of its shares pending clarification of its financial position. In an accompanying statement, the company revealed that it had been unable to secure equity finance with its largest shareholders despite ‘protracted discussions’.

    Following this considerable setback, the firm took a significant step forward at the end of January when it revealed a restructuring and refinancing package. This was centred around a £1m fundraise at 0.5p per share with two-year warrants attached. This would enable it to pay off all of its material creditors, leaving it debt free with a cash runway of at least 12 months. 

    Critically, the arrangement also proposed that African Battery’s then-CEO Roger Murphy and executive director Matt Wood would step down from the firm’s board. Meanwhile, well-known AIM figures Andrew Bell and Paul Johnson would both join as executive directors and take part in the placing. Johnson is an experienced public company director who has previously served as chief executive of Metal Tiger, Metal NRG, and China Africa Resources. He has also been chairman of ECR Minerals and non-executive director of Greatland Gold, Papua Mining, and Thor Mining. Bell, meanwhile, has worked in the natural resources sector since the 1970s and is perhaps most recognised as chairman of Red Rock Resources and non-executive director of Jupiter Mines.

    Johnson tells us that he and Bell’s engagement with African Battery arose from their long-standing interest in its operations. As a result of this awareness, the pair were keen to look at ways of fixing the firm’s financial situation as soon as they heard of its suspension:

    ‘African Battery has always had a healthy amount of interesting news flow,’ Johnson tells us. ‘When it announced that it had suspended, it seemed obvious to us to look into what problems existed and whether they were fixable. These days, AIM operating companies with some cash, no debt, and some potential forward momentum in operations can be highly valuable. We pretty quickly concluded that we could resolve the company’s issues, and felt that this represented a great opportunity.’

    Johnson says he also feels that current market conditions represent an opportune moment to get exposure to battery metals. Indeed, once obscure materials like copper, cobalt, nickel, lithium, and manganese are now being hailed as the ‘new precious metals’ due to their use in the next generation of batteries. These have many applications, but their most notable us is arguably in electric vehicles (EVs).

    Alongside supply-side limitations, many expect the anticipated, global shift towards EVs over coming years to lead to an explosion in the price of elements associated with their construction. For example, the market for cobalt alone is expected to double over the next four years and quadruple by 2028 due to an unsteady supply pipeline for the metal and its use in around three-quarters of EV batteries.

    ‘You just have to look at all the facts about battery metals like forward supply/demand dynamics and underlying factors that would drive demand to see an opportunity,’ Johnson explains. ‘There has not been growth in mining, exploration, project development, and new mines for these metals, and that is affecting supply. Meanwhile, as everyone knows, battery metal demand is increasing dramatically and is expected to continue rising.

    This is really an unusual situation. We have actually got supply and demand factors that could hit prices positively at the same time. For example, do I think copper is going to stay at its current, depressed price forever? I doubt it. Likewise, nickel looks to be on a significant, overall, rising trend. I think we are set for an excellent growth period and this is the perfect place for us to be.’

    Operational review

    Several weeks after the refinancing was announced, Johnson and Bell’s proposals were passed by shareholders, prompting the pair’s appointment and the restoration of trading in African Battery’s shares. Since joining, the two executive directors have been busy completing a thorough strategic and operational review of the business.

    On the financial side, this has seen them cut corporate costs to minimal levels and amend boardroom pay to ensure directors’ salaries are transparent and reflect both performance and African Battery’s cash position. Elsewhere, in early March, the business announced that it has now paid all material creditor balances through cash or share settlement. As such, it no longer has ‘material debt’ and substantial working capital.

    Meanwhile, on the operational side, the pair are also conducting a review of each of African Battery’s existing project interests. To date, the company has committed to proceeding its 70pc-owned and operated Kisinka copper-cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This decision followed a visit by Bell in February, which included meeting with project vendors and local technical advisers.

    The company is now liaising with its geological team to prepare a next-stage exploration programme for Kisinka. This will be optimised using previous exploration data, and modifications have been made to earlier plans to maximise cost efficiency. Meanwhile, the organisation has now made all outstanding project payments to Kisinka’s vendor and completed all the changes required to comply with the DRC’s new Mining Act.

    After reviewing historical data, African Battery has also committed to continuing its work in Cameroon. Through its subsidiary Cobalt Blue Holdings, the company holds four nickel cobalt licences in the country either adjacent to or within 50km of the Nkamouna/Mada project. This is the most significant undeveloped cobalt resource outside the DRC and has a NI 43-101 compliant resource of 323Mt at average grades of 0.21pc cobalt, 0.61pc nickel, and 1.25pc manganese. Cobalt Blue also holds two licence applications at Ntam Est and N'Gaoundere.

    African Battery is now devising a forward work programme for Cobalt Blue’s assets that will prioritise the highest-profile targets as determined from work undertaken and reviewed to date. In an announcement, Johnson said the business would like to begin its work as soon as possible so it complete before heavy rains expected after June.

    Bell and Johnson are now completing a review of African Battery’s final interest in Côte d’Ivoire. Through its subsidiary Regent Resources Interests, the business can earn into 70pc of the Lizetta II chrome, nickel, cobalt exploration licence in the country. An independent assessment of the project, which is based near the country’s commercial capital, has confirmed its potential to host cobalt, nickel, and chrome mineralisation of economic potential. It has also proposed an initial field programme consisting of historical data compilation, geological mapping, geophysical surveys, trenching, and RC drilling.

    Johnson tells us that he and Bell are using a three-stage process to review African Battery’s existing portfolio:

    ‘The first stage of this process is to look at each project and its potential. Here, we want to work out if the asset can, on its own basis, engage the market, create value, and be a decent addition to African Battery’s portfolio. Then, if we do decide to proceed with a project, we will announce this to the market,’ he says. ‘Following this, the second stage is to review how best to take the project forward. We look at where we can spend the money in a way that creates the most value for shareholders. This could be on something like an exploration programme or a development programme. Once we have worked out the best approach possible, we will then announce this to the market. Finally, the third stage is to get on with the planned work and start taking the project forward.

    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.

  • African Battery Metals (LSE:ABM) has been on something of a roller coaster ride over the last few months. After its shares were suspended at the end of 2018, in the face of financial uncertainty, a successful refinancing programme allowed the company to return to trading in February with no debt and a healthy cash runway. Alongside this newfound financial security, the organisation has also undergone a significant management restructuring that has seen Paul Johnson and Andrew Bell both become executive directors. 

    In the first part of our interview with Johnson, the AIM veteran discussed Bell and his reasons for approaching African Battery and their plans for the outfit’s existing portfolio. Here, he discusses the pair’s recent deal with AIM-listed Katoro gold and their plans to make the most of today’s ‘very poor’ funding climate for early-stage resource opportunities as they line up African Battery’s future.

    Haneti opportunity

    Johnson and Bell revealed African Battery’s first foray into new territory under their leadership last month, announcing an investment and option agreement with Katoro Gold (LSE:KAT). Under the contract, African Battery will be able to purchase up to 10m shares in Katoro at 1p each with three-year warrants attached. It also has the right to purchase up to 35pc in Katoro’s 100pc-owned Haneti nickel project in Tanzania, for a total consideration of up to £125,000.

    Haneti comprises tenements covering an area of around 5,000km2 prospective for nickel, platinum-group-elements, cobalt, copper, gold, and lithium. Previous work has identified grades of up to 13.6pc nickel at the project, and an exploration programme this year will aim to confirm the existence of disseminated or massive sulphide mineralisation in the area. Alongside Haneti, Katoro owns a further two gold projects in Tanzania called Imweru and Lubando. Together, these host a JORC-compliant resource of 754,980oz gold.

    As well as giving African Battery exposure to a new nickel project and a new jurisdiction, Johnson says he and Bell felt that Katoro’s looked undervalued:

    ‘Like all resource firms, Katoro has suffered recently. Its market cap currently sits at just £1m, which is unbelievably low considering that it has a large amount of gold in its portfolio, a potentially high-impact nickel project, and cash in the bank. We see plenty of upside on the stock, and think its market cap could go substantially higher.’

    Johnson also highlights parallels between Katoro and Haneti’s previous owner Kibo Mining (now Kibo Energy), into which Metal Tiger entered a joint venture in 2014 when he was chief executive. Shortly after Metal Tiger made a £150,000 equity investment and launched the 50:50 project focused on its uranium-prospective portfolio in Tanzania, Kibo’s shares shot up from below 1.5p to more than 10p in intra-day trading.

    This rise, which occurred very quickly, came after Metal Tiger’s investment supported Kibo in the delivery of a highly positive definitive mining feasibility study at its Rukwa coal to power project. With the deal earning Metal Tiger a significant profit in short order, Johnson hopes that alongside having an option over Hanet, African Battery can make a lot from its Katoro shareholding.

    Broadening horizons

    Alongside the Katoro deal, March also saw Johnson and Bell lay out their plans for African Battery’s future in a strategic and operational plan. The company said that the funding climate for early-stage resource opportunities is still ‘very poor’, thanks to depressed market conditions. As a result, it believes vendors are willing to undertake transactions on unusually reasonable terms. Using some of its remaining cash balance, the firm plans to take advantage of this by reviewing and – if appropriate – acquiring new opportunities that complement its existing portfolio and provide additional risk diversification.

    In the update, African Battery said it has already received direct approaches from third parties with assets in battery metals, precious metals, and other commodity groups. As well as looking at new commodity groups, the firm said that, although it intends to remain focused on Africa, it would be willing to enter new jurisdictions if an attractive enough opportunity arose.

    ‘We are obviously very focused on reviewing what we can do with the existing portfolio,’ says Johnson. ‘However, we are also considering investment opportunities that can boost our balance sheet, bolster our financial strength and expose us to strategically attractive areas for future business development. For example, it would be good to get diversification across a wider geographical spread in Africa, rather than focusing solely on the West of the continent. There are a number of attractive opportunities out there in stable jurisdictions before offered at good valuations.’

    Aside from maintaining and expanding African Battery’s portfolio, Johnson said another core goal for Bell and himself is to restore value for long-term shareholders. He highlights his stints at Metal Tiger, Greatland Gold, and Thor Mining as evidence of his ability to implement a successful business turnaround strategy.

    ‘African Battery has been through a period of difficulty, and it is now down to us to restore confidence in the company. There are a lot of people with personal money invested that have suffered a large capital loss. So, alongside making money for the investors that entered alongside us, we have got to try and make back as much of that cash that long-term shareholders have lost on paper as possible,’ he says.

    Both Andrew Bell and I have enjoyed turnaround success at numerous businesses over the years, with good examples being Thor Mining, Metal Tiger, and Greatland Gold. We enter African Battery in a far more comfortable position than many of these examples. The company has no debt, a good strong cash balance, and some existing interests with value that can be taken forward. What’s more, we are at the bottom of the market, or at least close to it. That is the scenario you want if you are going to make a recovery. It is really a case of doing the same thing as we have done before: maintaining our strong core business model and grabbing new opportunities as and when they become available.’

    Where next?

    With one asset left to review and new projects on the agenda, the next few months are likely to see African Battery deliver plenty of newsflow for investors. What’s more, by a revitalised balance sheet devoid of debt and replete with cash complements this forward momentum. If the business’s two experienced bosses can strike the right chord with the retail market by meeting all of their strategic and operational goals, then the company could be poised for exciting growth.

    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 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

     

  • Shares in African Battery Metals (LSE:ABM) were trading at 0.38p on Thursday after the business announced exploration progress at its key asset in the DRC. The firm has now established a field camp at the 70pc-owned and operated Kisinka project to provide a base for field operations for 14 on-site staff who are conducting and supporting field activities. 

    Meanwhile, it has also collected a total of 248 termite mound samples from the field and is in the process of transferring these to its operation office. Here, the samples will be prepared and analysed. Elsewhere, the business said it will continue to collect termite samples over coming weeks, providing updates to the market whenever a material development occurs.

    Thursday’s development come after African Battery announced that it had recommenced exploration activities at Kisinka last month following a detailed review of historic exploration and targeting copper-cobalt mineralisation. In order to protect and preserve the company's working capital, the exploration programme will adopt a staged approach with initial wide area exploration focussed on identifying areas of anomalous copper and cobalt mineralisation, to be followed by follow up drilling if appropriate drill targets present themselves.

    Alongside Kisinka, the organisation has said it is pursuing a number of existing and new initiatives seeking the highest impact for shareholders ‘in a measured and disciplined manner’. On Thursday, Paul Johnson, executive director of African Battery, said:

    After quite a gap in operational activity for the Company I am pleased to advise that operations are now underway at Kisinka where we are targeting copper-cobalt mineralisation in a highly prospective region. I am keen to ensure the market is fully informed as material developments occur in respect of Kisinka and also across our other projects and wider commercial activities.’

    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.

  • African Battery Metals (LSE:ABM) advanced 5.6pc to 4.8p on Monday afternoon after announcing that it has begun exploration activities at its copper-nickel project in Cameroon. The £1.7m business, which was trading at 0.47p on Tuesday morning, will carry out a pit excavation programme at the asset to a maximum depth of 15m per individual pit.

    This work, which is due to start immediately so it can complete before the onset of heavy rains, will include mapping and sampling of each excavated pit. These samples will be tested in South Africa following completion of fieldwork and used to produce a database of prospect information complementing historical work carried out on site.

    African Battery is testing for cobalt and nickel mineralisation at depth to reflect work conducted by Geovic Mining at its nearby licences. This demonstrated that mineralised horizons were below 6m. Specifically, African Battery wishes to test the theory that its licence interests show geological similarity to the nearby Nkamouna deposit. Here, Geovic published a NO 43-101-compliant total measured, indicated, and inferred mineral resource of 323Mt at 0.21pc cobalt, 0.61pc nickel, and 1.26pc manganese.

    African Battery’s developments in Cameroon come around a month since it recommenced exploration at its 70pc-owned Kisinka copper-cobalt project in the DRC. Last week, the firm revealed that it had completed a field programme at the asset, collecting a total of 663 termite mound samples. The organisation is now carrying out sample preparation, which is scheduled to end shortly. After this, it will carry out X-ray fluorescence spectrometry analysis to identify anomalous levels of copper and cobalt.

    In Monday’s update, African Battery’s executive director Paul Johnson said the firm’s approach to Cameroon would be similar to its work in the DRC.

    ‘As with Kisinka, we have opted to focus our initial exploration spend in a highly targeted manner, answering a simple exploration question and namely, do the identified target areas have geological similarity to the nearby Nkamouna deposit,’ he said. ‘If the answer is positive, the impact on the value of the project to the Company could be dramatic and certainly disproportionately beneficial against the underlying modest cost of conducting the planned pitting and sampling programme.’

    Elsewhere, this month saw African Battery unveil a significant acquisition and earn-in agreement in Botswana. The business has acquired an 18.26pc stake in an exploration and geological consultancy company called Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration for $194,821.

    Kalahari Key, established by Roger Key, Andy Moore, Simon Bate, and Rick Bonner in November 2014, is the 100pc owner of Molopo Farms Complex (MFC) project in south-west Botswana. Furthermore, African Battery has also secured the right to earn-in to a 40pc direct interest in MFC by spending $500,000 on the project by 31 December next year. This money would go towards ground exploration at the project, expected to include the drilling of high priority targets.

    MFC is made up of three exploration licences covering 2,725km2 that are thought to be prospective for nickel, PGM, and copper mineralisation. As well as acquiring all of the project’s historical exploration data, Kalahari Key has undertaken a high-resolution, helicopter-borne electromagnetic and magnetic survey on the area. This work identified 17 key zones of conductive rocks now being used to construct a priority list of targets for follow-up ground exploration.

    To read MiningMaven’s recent interview with Johnson on his plans for African Battery moving forward, please click here.

    Author: Daniel Flynn

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

    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 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.

  • African Battery Metals (LSE:ABM) outlined the next steps to be taken at its Kisinka Copper-Cobalt project in an update on Friday. Exploration recommenced at the project in April now following the firm successfully refinancing earlier in the year. The company reports current field activities were completed last week with a total of 663 termite mound samples being collected across the whole license area. X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (XRF) will now be carried out on the samples to identify copper and cobalt mineralisation.

    In order to protect and preserve the company's working capital, African Battery has adopted a staged approach with initial wide area exploration focussed on identifying areas of anomalous copper and cobalt mineralisation, to be followed by follow up drilling if appropriate drill targets present themselves.

    Kisinka is a 53 sq km exploration licence located in an established world class producing cobalt district in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

    The License has 8km of strike along the Roan group of rocks, which host the majority of the DRC’s copper and cobalt mines.  There are a number of large cobalt-copper mines in the area, both on strike and in the same rock structure to the west. African Battery is due to pay a second tranche of $100,000 which will secure a 70pc interest in the license.

    Paul Johnson, Executive Director of African Battery Metals commented:

    "Our team coped well with difficult on-site logistics as grass levels remained high after late rains, and we recruited additional casual support staff to ensure timely completion of the field phase of activities.

    This initial programme has been carried out with speed and efficiency and bodes well for our ability to operate effectively in the DRC.  We look forward to reporting results as these become available."

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

    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.

     

     

  • African Battery Metals (LSE:ABM) jumped 12.5pc to 0.4275p on Monday morning after unveiling a major acquisition and earn-in agreement in Botswana. The business has acquired an 18.26pc stake in an exploration and geological consultancy company called Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration for $194,821.

    Kalahari Key, established by Roger Key, Andy Moore, Simon Bate, and Rick Bonner in November 2014, is the 100pc owner of Molopo Farms Complex (MFC) project in south-west Botswana. Furthermore, African Battery has also secured the right to earn-in to a 40pc direct interest in MFC by spending $500,000 on the project by 31 December next year. This money would go towards ground exploration at the project, expected to include the drilling of high priority targets.

    MFC is made up of three exploration licences covering 2,725km2 that are thought to be prospective for nickel, PGM, and copper mineralisation. As well as acquiring all of the project’s historical exploration data, Kalahari Key has undertaken a high-resolution, helicopter-borne electromagnetic and magnetic survey on the area. This work identified 17 key zones of conductive rocks now being used to construct a priority list of targets for follow-up ground exploration.

    If African Battery chooses to complete its earn-in expenditure agreement, its effective interest in MFC would sit at 50.96pc. Meanwhile, company chairman Andrew Bell would be appointed to a new MFC Project operational committee, while director Paul Johnson would join the board of Kalahari Key.

    Neither the committee members or the existing new directors of Kalahari Key would be remunerated for their services. Finally, if African Battery decides to exercise its earn-in agreement, a JV agreement would be established between the company and Kalahari Key that will determine strategy, operational management, and corporate structuring.

    African Battery’s chairman Andrew Bell said he was ‘delighted’ to secure an opportunity in Botswana for African Battery’s shareholders.

    ‘Botswana is an exceptional country with exciting exploration opportunities and a superb operating environment,’he added. This significant opportunity comes to us after the MFC Project has already benefitted from extensive historical exploration that has already identified 17 targets through Airborne Electomagnetic Surveys.

    ‘There is some further Airborne Electromagnetic work to do, with ground exploration follow up and ongoing target prioritisation. However, the ultimate key to unlocking the value from exploration targets under sand cover is via the drill rig and we will be working with Kalahari Key to identify the quickest route to active drilling operations.’

    Bell added that African Battery’s board considers the investment to be consistent with the company’s stated policy of seeking battery metal exposure in Africa.

    ‘We also believe that further exploration success at the MFC Project would, by virtue of the potential scale, have a transformative impact on the prospects of ABM and on investor sentiment towards it,’ he said. ‘I am delighted to be working with the Kalahari Key team and would like to emphasise the diligent work they have done to bring the MFC Project to its current position. These are exciting times and we anticipate further updates in respect of Botswana and our other business interests in the near future.”

    Roger Key, chief executive at Kalahari Key, added: ‘Kalahari Key is very pleased to have reached this agreement with African Battery Metals and we look forward to a productive partnership. The work done on the MFC Project so far has reinforced our belief that we have a significant resource with a geological model analogous to Voisey Bay. We welcome the financial input from ABM that will enable us to move quickly into a drilling phase, and we also appreciate the management and organisational benefits that come from a close working relationship with ABM.’ 

    African Battery is an AIM listed, Africa-focused, resource company exploring for the key metals that will be used in next-generation batteries fuelling the new electric vehicle revolution. Johnson and Bell joined the business earlier this year as part of a proposed restructuring and refinancing package that saw the firm ultimately return from suspension.

    Shortly afterwards, the company revealed an investment and option agreement with Katoro Gold (LSE:KAT). Under the contract, African Battery will be able to purchase up to 10m shares in Katoro at 1p each with three-year warrants attached. It also has the right to purchase up to 35pc in Katoro’s 100pc-owned Haneti nickel project in Tanzania, for a total consideration of up to £125,000. 

    Haneti comprises tenements covering an area of around 5,000km2 prospective for nickel, platinum-group-elements, cobalt, copper, gold, and lithium. Previous work has identified grades of up to 13.6pc nickel at the project, and an exploration programme this year will aim to confirm the existence of disseminated or massive sulphide mineralisation in the area. Alongside Haneti, Katoro owns a further two gold projects in Tanzania called Imweru and Lubando. Together, these host a JORC-compliant resource of 754,980oz gold.

    To read MiningMaven’s recent interview with Johnson on his plans for African Battery moving forward, please click here.

    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.

  • African Battery Metals (LSE:ABM) jumped 12.5pc to 0.4275p on Monday morning after unveiling a major acquisition and earn-in agreement in Botswana. The business has acquired an 18.26pc stake in an exploration and geological consultancy company called Kalahari Key Mineral Exploration for $194,821.

    Kalahari Key, established by Roger Key, Andy Moore, Simon Bate, and Rick Bonner in November 2014, is the 100pc owner of Molopo Farms Complex (MFC) project in south-west Botswana. Furthermore, African Battery has also secured the right to earn-in to a 40pc direct interest in MFC by spending $500,000 on the project by 31 December next year. This money would go towards ground exploration at the project, expected to include the drilling of high priority targets.

    MFC is made up of three exploration licences covering 2,725km2 that are thought to be prospective for nickel, PGM, and copper mineralisation. As well as acquiring all of the project’s historical exploration data, Kalahari Key has undertaken a high-resolution, helicopter-borne electromagnetic and magnetic survey on the area. This work identified 17 key zones of conductive rocks now being used to construct a priority list of targets for follow-up ground exploration.

    If African Battery chooses to complete its earn-in expenditure agreement, its effective interest in MFC would sit at 50.96pc. Meanwhile, company chairman Andrew Bell would be appointed to a new MFC Project operational committee, while director Paul Johnson would join the board of Kalahari Key.

    Neither the committee members or the existing new directors of Kalahari Key would be remunerated for their services. Finally, if African Battery decides to exercise its earn-in agreement, a JV agreement would be established between the company and Kalahari Key that will determine strategy, operational management, and corporate structuring.

    African Battery’s chairman Andrew Bell said he was ‘delighted’ to secure an opportunity in Botswana for African Battery’s shareholders.

    ‘Botswana is an exceptional country with exciting exploration opportunities and a superb operating environment,’he added. This significant opportunity comes to us after the MFC Project has already benefitted from extensive historical exploration that has already identified 17 targets through Airborne Electomagnetic Surveys.

    ‘There is some further Airborne Electromagnetic work to do, with ground exploration follow up and ongoing target prioritisation. However, the ultimate key to unlocking the value from exploration targets under sand cover is via the drill rig and we will be working with Kalahari Key to identify the quickest route to active drilling operations.’

    Bell added that African Battery’s board considers the investment to be consistent with the company’s stated policy of seeking battery metal exposure in Africa.

    ‘We also believe that further exploration success at the MFC Project would, by virtue of the potential scale, have a transformative impact on the prospects of ABM and on investor sentiment towards it,’ he said. ‘I am delighted to be working with the Kalahari Key team and would like to emphasise the diligent work they have done to bring the MFC Project to its current position. These are exciting times and we anticipate further updates in respect of Botswana and our other business interests in the near future.”

    Roger Key, chief executive at Kalahari Key, added: ‘Kalahari Key is very pleased to have reached this agreement with African Battery Metals and we look forward to a productive partnership. The work done on the MFC Project so far has reinforced our belief that we have a significant resource with a geological model analogous to Voisey Bay. We welcome the financial input from ABM that will enable us to move quickly into a drilling phase, and we also appreciate the management and organisational benefits that come from a close working relationship with ABM.’ 

    African Battery is an AIM listed, Africa-focused, resource company exploring for the key metals that will be used in next-generation batteries fuelling the new electric vehicle revolution. Johnson and Bell joined the business earlier this year as part of a proposed restructuring and refinancing package that saw the firm ultimately return from suspension.

    Shortly afterwards, the company revealed an investment and option agreement with Katoro Gold (LSE:KAT). Under the contract, African Battery will be able to purchase up to 10m shares in Katoro at 1p each with three-year warrants attached. It also has the right to purchase up to 35pc in Katoro’s 100pc-owned Haneti nickel project in Tanzania, for a total consideration of up to £125,000. 

    Haneti comprises tenements covering an area of around 5,000km2 prospective for nickel, platinum-group-elements, cobalt, copper, gold, and lithium. Previous work has identified grades of up to 13.6pc nickel at the project, and an exploration programme this year will aim to confirm the existence of disseminated or massive sulphide mineralisation in the area. Alongside Haneti, Katoro owns a further two gold projects in Tanzania called Imweru and Lubando. Together, these host a JORC-compliant resource of 754,980oz gold.

    To read MiningMaven’s recent interview with Johnson on his plans for African Battery moving forward, please click here.

    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.

  • African Battery Metals (LSE:ABM) fell 4.3pc to 0.45p on Monday after announcing that it will proceed with its copper-cobalt project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The business, which was trading flat with a £1.63m valuation on Tuesday, said it is now discussing a next stage exploration programme for its 70pc-owned and operated Kisinka asset.

    The decision followed a site visit by chairman Andrew Bell who, alongside executive director Paul Johnson, replaced the firm’s old management team last month. After meeting with local technical advisers & vendors and analysing existing data, African Battery says it has found ways to modify Kisinka’s exploration programme and optimise expenditure. A further announcement will be made regarding a new programme ‘in due course’.

    Alongside this, African Battery said that all outstanding Kisinka project payments have now been made to the site’s vendor, who is also 30pc owner. Meanwhile, the company has made changes to the site’s legal ownership structure to ensure it complies with the new local mining act. Consequently, Kisinka is in ‘good standing’ according to African Battery.

    Johnson said he was looking ‘looking forward’ to taking the site forward, adding that the firm is continuing to review its assets in Cameroon and the Ivory Coast over coming weeks. It will report back individually on each these.

    This work forms part of an ongoing strategic and operational review aimed at reorganising African Battery. This comes after the outfit was suspended from trading under its previous board last December as demands from short-term creditors exceeded available working capital. It was re-admitted last month after shareholders voted in favour of a host of proposals aimed and restructuring the business under Bell and Johnson.

    This included a conditional placing and subscription to raise £1m at 0.5p a share and help pay off creditors. Last week, 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.

    Alongside African Battery’s existing project interests, Bell and Johnson are reviewing the organisation’s administration and management. They are also looking at new opportunities in battery metals, precious metals, and other commodity groups with a principal focus on Africa.

    In Tuesday’s update, Johnson added: ‘The overriding objective of the Company now is to work efficiently through our review of existing interests and where we decide to proceed, to design and implement exploration and development programmes efficiently. In parallel we continue to review additional opportunities where we see potential for considerable value to be added to our business for shareholders. Further update announcements are expected in the near term.’

    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 Arc Minerals (LSE:ARCM) sat at 2.3p on Friday after the business revealed that it has begun work on its potentially ‘game-changing’ exploration targets in northwestern Zambia.

    The firm has started an exploration programme on the targets, identified by airborne geophysical work and follow-up analysis earlier this year at the copper-cobalt licence owned by Zamsort. Arc holds a 66pc equity interest in Zamsort together with a convertible loan that could increase its stake in the private company by a further 5pc.

    The targets include Cheyeza West, located around 7km west of Cheyeza East where historical drilling has intersected zones of pervasive copper mineralisation. Chezea West is characterised by a historical EM anomaly that could represent a conductive unit like sulphide-rich sediment as well as well-defined radiometric anomalies.

    Another target identified by the work is Lumbeta, which stretches for 11km and is associated with the crest of a fold. According to Arc, these formations can act as mineralisation traps and form high-grade deposits. Upon announcing the discoveries in February, Arc’s executive chairman Nick von Schirnding said they could represent a ‘potential game changer for the business’.

    In Friday’s update, Arc said infill soil sampling has begun over the new target areas, with 1,200 samples already completed. This work will reduce the spacing between profile lines from 1km to 200m, allowing for more defined drilling of targets. Arc added that the prospects have continued to exceed expectations to date and will be drilled as soon as weather conditions permit.

    Von Schirnding added: ‘I am very pleased to have completed the follow up work on the new anomalies and to have commenced the soil sampling programme early having been able to access Cheyeza West during intermittent dry periods.  As soon as weather conditions allow we shall be deploying rigs to Cheyeza West in the first instance and start our drilling programme. The Cheyeza West and Lumbeta anomalies, as highlighted on the attached map, are around 10 order of magnitudes larger than anything previously looked at in the Zamsort project area - and is a potential game changer for Arc Minerals.’

    Friday’s progress comes just days after Arc revealed that it had completed the construction of a demonstration pilot plant at Zamsort’s Kalaba prospect. The business said the plant was completed under budget at its part-owned Kalaba prospect and has been commissioned successfully with the initial production of copper/cobalt sulphide concentrate.

    Kalaba is a copper-cobalt licence covering nine of 30 high priority targets ranked by a previous JV operated by Anglo American. It is found near First Quantum’s Sentinel and Kansanshi and Barrick’s Lumwana mines. The project has an existing near-surface estimated copper-cobalt oxide resource of 16.59Mt at 0.94pc copper and a historical exploration target of 150Mt. This makes it one of the most significant projects of its type in Zambia.

    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

  • Arc Minerals (LSE:ARCM) rose 1.9pc to 2.6p on Monday morning after announcing that it has completed the construction of a demonstration pilot plant at one of its copper/cobalt licences in Zambia. The business said the plant was completed under budget at its part-owned Kalaba prospect and has been successfully commissioned with the initial production of copper/cobalt sulphide concentrate.

    Kalaba is a copper-cobalt licence covering nine of 30 high priority targets ranked by a previous JV operated by Anglo American. It is found near First Quantum’s Sentinel and Kansanshi and Barrick’s Lumwana mines. The project has an existing near-surface estimated copper-cobalt oxide resource of 16.59Mt at 0.94pc copper and a historical exploration target of 150Mt. This makes it one of the most significant projects of its type in Zambia.

    Kalaba is owned by a private company called Zamsort, which is in turn 66pc owned by Arc. Alongside this equity position, Arc has issued a convertible loan to Zamsort that converts into an additional c.5pc stake.

    Arc is now finalising detailed oxide resource tonnages, grades, and mining line with the completion of the block modelling of Kalaba’s overall oxide resource. The block model assessment of the ore body will be the basis for a review of operational and mining strategy at the site. This will include the cost-benefit potential of upgrading the oxide ore feed into the plant aimed at materially reducing consumption of acid and related input costs.

    Arc said that initial production at its demonstration plant would incur no mining costs because feed will be drawn down from an existing stockpile of 10,000ts at 2pc copper. Finally, the organisation said it is also looking at the potential of using the plant to enhance revenue streams through the production of separate copper and cobalt sulphide precipitates.

    Arc’s executive chairman Nick von Schirnding said: ‘I am very pleased to report that we delivered on our commitment to complete the construction and commissioning of the small-scale demonstration pilot plant at Kalaba. We have now completed the plant under budget - for less than half a million dollars.  It is also an important step regarding Zamsort's previous commitments in terms of its exploration licenses. In the meantime, we have made major progress regarding our next phase of exploration and our newly identified targets. A more detailed update on this will be made shortly.’

    In February, Arc announced that it had identified two ‘potentially game-changing’ new targets on Zamsort’s acreage in Zambia. The business released the initial results of an airborne geophysical and soil sampling programme at the copper-cobalt licence owned by Zamsort.

    The work revealed seven new anomalies, the largest of which are Cheyeza West and Lumbeta. Cheyeza West contains a 3km-by-3km anomaly outlined by very high copper values in the soils enclosed by the wider 10km-by-8km Cheyeza anomaly. Furthermore, a co-incident electromagnetic anomaly over the core has indicated conductivity within the host rock.

    Meanwhile, the Lumbeta target stretches for 11km and is associated with the crest of a fold. According to Arc, these formations can act as mineralisation traps and form high-grade deposits

    Arc expects to release a more detailed update ‘shortly’ once it has assessed the results of the programme thoroughly with its external exploration consultants.

    Von Schirnding said Cheyeza West and Lumbeta are close to ten times the size of Kalaba.

    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 Arc Minerals (LSE:ARCM) rose 5.4pc to 3.1p on Monday morning after the firm revealed two ‘potentially game-changing’ new targets in northwestern Zambia.

    The business released the initial results of an airborne geophysical and soil sampling programme at the copper-cobalt licence owned by Zamsort. Arc holds a 66pc equity interest in Zamsort together with a convertible loan that converts into an additional c.5pc stake in the private business.

    The work revealed seven new anomalies, the largest of which are Cheyeza West and Lumbeta. Cheyeza West contains a 3km-by-3km anomaly outlined by very high copper values in the soils enclosed by the wider 10km-by-8km Cheyeza anomaly. Furthermore, a co-incident electromagnetic anomaly over the core has indicated conductivity within the host rock.

    Meanwhile, the Lumbeta target stretches for 11km and is associated with the crest of a fold. According to Arc, these formations can act as mineralisation traps and form high-grade deposits. Details of the six further identified targets are presented in the chart below.

    Arc expects to release a more detailed update ‘shortly’ once it has assessed the results of the programme thoroughly with its external exploration consultants.

    Executive chairman Nick von Schirnding said Cheyeza West and Lumbeta are close to ten times the size of Kalaba, currently Zamsort’s primary focus. Kalaba is a copper-cobalt licence covering nine of 30 high priority targets ranked by a previous JV operated by Anglo American. It is found near First Quantum’s Sentinel and Kansanshi and Barrick’s Lumwana mines.

    The project has an existing near-surface estimated copper-cobalt oxide resource of 16.59Mt at 0.94pc copper and a historical exploration target of 150Mt. This makes it one of the most significant projects of its type in Zambia. With this in mind, von Schirnding added that Monday’s discoveries represent a ‘potential game changer’ for Arc.

    ‘The initial results from the airborne survey and soil sampling programme are extremely exciting and have exceeded all our expectations. It is clear that our licences lie in a very prospective mineral belt adjacent to Zambia's largest copper mines and we believe they have the potential to host not one but multiple large new copper deposits,’ he said. ‘We have been approached by some very large industry players and are in discussions. We continue to assess the data as it becomes available and look forward to reporting further on this shortly.’

    Monday’s news comes just one week after Arc announced the imminent completion of a plant at Kalaba. In the update, the organisation said the back end of a commercial scale demonstration plant being constructed by Zamsort was ready for imminent commissioning. Initial production is scheduled shortly afterwards.

    The business said the announcement followed a period of ‘excellent progress’ at Kalaba. In November, the company’s technical team completed the front end of the plant. This is made up of two crusher units, screen, a ball mill, and conveyors. This section was then commissioned in December, with an initial capacity to process 10,000ts of ore a month.

    In last week’s update, Arc said the plant has a fully permitted, renewable mining licence through to 2025 and is funded through to initial production. It added that it is also in discussions with several off-takers regarding future sales.

    Arc also owns a 100pc interest in Casa Mining, a private company that has a 71.25pc stake in the Akyanga gold deposit in the DRC. At the end of July last year, the business rose 12.5pc after reporting that a JORC mineral resource for Akyanga had almost doubled to 3m ounces of gold averaging 2.16 grams per tonne.

    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

  • Directors and management of Arc Minerals (LSE:ARCM) collectively bought just over 3.76m shares as part of a private placing that saw the company raise a total of £2.2m. Existing investors will likely be pleased that the funds were raised at the current share price of 3p.

    In an announcement Monday, Arc said the proceeds will be primarily used to progress its flagship Zamsort Copper Project in Zambia. Earlier this month, the firm released the initial results from an airborne geophysical and soil sampling programme at the copper-cobalt licence, revealing seven new anomalies.

    The company holds a 66pc interest in Zamsort limited which is developing the Kalaba copper-cobalt project in north-west Zambia.  Zamsort has 850 km2 of exploration ground under license in the highly prospective region of the Zambian Copperbelt. The area now accounts for a substantial part of Zambian copper production and the Kalaba project and the surrounding Zamsort exploration licenses are in close proximity to large operations such as First Quantum Minerals’ Sentinel and Kansanshi mines and Barrick Gold’s Lumwana mine.

    Arc expects production at the Kalaba demonstration plant will commence soon.

    The commercial-scale plant, being constructed by Zamsort, is in the latter stages of completion and is fully permitted with an initial mining license until 2025.

    Since the placing was private and non-brokered no fees or commissions will be deducted, allowing all of the cash to be fully utilised. Participants in the placing will receive one warrant for each share purchased which can be exercised at 4.5p over the next three years. 

    Six officers of the company participated in the fundraise investing an aggregate £113k with Executive Chairman, Nick von Schirnding contributing the lions share. Schirnding now holds around 16m shares representing 2.26pc of the company.

    Schirnding, said: "We were approached by two family offices, one of which is already a shareholder, for further funding to progress our newly identified targets at Zamsort. This is a very good outcome for us and as a result we will be accelerating work in respect of Cheyeza West and other key targets and will start a comprehensive drilling programme as soon as possible.

    I look forward to an exciting time ahead with significant newsflow for the Company as we deliver on our strategy." 

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

    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

     

     

  • Asiamet Resources (LSE:ARS) sat at 6.6p on Wednesday after revealing that strong drilling results have taken it another step closer to completing a bankable feasibility study (BFS) for its BKM copper deposit in Indonesia.

    The business said that the latest round of assay results received from infill and geotechnical drilling have confirmed its expectations for the deposit. It added that they also ‘further strengthen’ resource models at the site.

    Highlights from the latest results include a hole called BKM31550-06 that delivered 19m at 1.16pc copper from a depth of 72.5m. This included 5m at 1.43pc copper from 82.5m depth and 2m at 2.61pc copper from 89.5m depth. Another hole called BKM31550-09 included 27m at 0.67pc copper from 57.5m depth. This featured 3m at 2.15pc copper from 80.5m depth.

    Asiamet has now completed 37 resource evaluation holes and four geotechnical holes for 5,665m of diamond core drilling. It has received assays results for 32 holes, with the remaining nine expected before the end of the month. Once the company gets these, it will update its resource models at BKM, using this to generate first ore reserves for the BKM copper project.

    Asiamet’s chief executive Peter Bird said the results strengthen the business’s position as it moved into the final phase of mine and process design to generate an initial ore reserve for BKM.

    ‘Upside potential in and around the BKM deposit remains very high and an external geological consultant with extensive experience in Indonesia has recently been engaged to further strengthen our understanding of the BKM geological system and develop a suite of additional high potential near mine Resource targets for testing in the next round of drilling,’ he added. ‘This work is currently under way and we look forward to providing an update on this target generation program shortly.’

    The BKM BFS is expected to precede the delivery of a final feasibility study by the close of H1 2019 and first production by the end of the year. Asiamet has already carried out a preliminary economic assessment at BKM, which gave the site an after-tax NPV10 of $204m and after-tax IRR of 39pc. This calculation was based around a 25ktpa copper cathode heap leach operation to be carried out over an initial eight years.

    BKM’s NPV alone dwarfs Asiamet’s current £66.2m (c.$87.6m) market cap considerably. What’s more, this figure doesn’t include the ‘district-scale potential’ Asiamet expects to be on offer in the area surrounding the project. This point was highlighted last month when institutional investor JP Morgan took advantage of a slump in Asiamet’s share price amid the resource market downturn to increase its stake to 9.37pc.

    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 Asiamet Resources (LSE:ARS) sat flat at 4.3p on Friday after the firm said work at its Beruang Kanan Main (BKM) copper deposit is going to plan.

    The business is carrying out additional resource evaluation drilling as part of a bankable feasibility study (BFS) at the site. As it stands, 22 holes for nearly 3,000m of diamond core drilling have completed. Drilling is ongoing, with a further 1,825m planned. This is expected to be completed by five drill rigs by the end of the current quarter.

    In an update, the firm said results from the first four holes confirm the continuity of mineralisation in the southern part of the BKM deposit. Moderate to strong chalcocite-covellite mineralisation was intersected just below the zone of oxidation. Some samples returned grades of up to 5.52pc copper.

    A preliminary economic assessment has given BKM an NPV10 of $204m, and an internal rate of return of 39pc based on a 431.9kt contained copper resource. Asiamet plans to develop an open pit mine that will produce 25kt of copper cathode a year over eight years, with immediate expansion potential.

    However, it hopes its current programme of drilling can upgrade and capture additional inferred resources at the site. If successful, it expects this to enhance BKM’s project economics and the robustness of its BFS significantly ahead of project financing. The firm plans to begin production later this year, with financing discussions underway.

    In today’s update, Asiamet’s chief executive Peter Bird said initial drilling were positive and in line with expectations.

    He added: ‘With operational work continuing apace we expect to be consistently reporting further results as they come to hand over the coming weeks leading into completion of the BFS. In addition to the ongoing technical programme, various work streams relating to the Environmental Impact Assessment ("AMDAL") for BKM and forestry use permits are also being progressed along with due diligence investigations and commercial discussions with potential partners on both our main projects. We look forward to providing further updates as they become available.’

    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

  • Atalaya Mining was up 5% on the release of its 3rd quarter results this morning. The company has increased its 2018 production guidance from 37,000 - 40,000 tonnes to 39,000 - 41,000 tonnes of copper as a result of improved recoveries, ore grade and throughput.

  • The share price of Atalaya Mining (LSE: ATYM) was flat on Monday after the firm released an update regarding its operations in the first quarter of this year. In the announcement, Atalaya reiterated its copper production guidance at 45,000-46,500 tonnes for 2019, with production up 8pc compared with the same period last year. However, copper output decreased 9pc quarter-on-quarter, although it’s worth noting Q4 2018 was a record quarter and production for Q1 2019 is still in line with expectations.

    The company is looking to ramp up production up to 55,000 tonnes of copper in 2020 as it expands its plant at Proyecto Riotinto to process 15 Million tonnes per annum (Mtpa). The company reports the expansion project has ‘progressed materially’ in the first quarter and expects mechanical completion by the end of Q2 2019. The firm has two ongoing drilling programmes at Proyecto Riotinto underway. The first is targeting massive sulphides and stockwork mineralisation under the Atalaya pit, while lateral extenstions of massive sulphides and stockwork are being drilled at Filon Sur.

    Meanwhile, at Proyecto Touro - a copper project in Spain – feedback regarding environmental impact studies has been received from the relevant authorities. Atalaya has an earn-in agreement to own up to 80pc of the Proyecto Touro project.

    Alberto Lavandeira, CEO commented: "During the first quarter of 2019 our operations at the Riotinto mine continued to deliver strong operating results. Simultaneously the construction activities for the modernisation and expansion of the plant are expected to meet our self-imposed tight schedule of mechanical completion by the end of the second quarter. Based on the excellent expertise of the teams on site we are confident that the project will be concluded on time and on budget and that we will achieve our full year production guidance."

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

    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.

  • Article published with kind permission from ValuetheMarkets - Originally published on ValueTheMarkets.com on 4th April 2019

    In today’s podcast ValueTheMarkets talks with President and CEO of Canadian-listed Forum Energy Metals (TSX-V:FMC), Rick Mazur. Historically the company has been focused on uranium assets which it still holds, but last year Forum made two acquisitions, one copper project and one cobalt. Rick Mazur explains more about the company’s strategy of diversifying into the battery metals space while sentiment in the uranium market is still low. Most of the company’s assets are located in Saskatchewan, Canada’s number one rated mining jurisdiction. Forum has a majority interest in seven drill ready uranium projects in the prolific Athabasca Basin and recently completed a successful first pass drill program at its Janice Lake district scale sedimentary copper project located 55km southeast of the Key Lake processing facility. In September, Forum gained a strategic foothold in Idaho’s cobalt belt with the acquisition of the Quartz Gulch exploration property.  

    All opinions expressed are those of ValueTheMarkets and the respective guests unless otherwise stated and should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation to buy shares in any featured Company. Listeners are advised to do their own extensive research before buying shares which, as with all small-cap exploration stocks, should be viewed as high risk. Investors should also seek the advice of a qualified investment adviser or stockbroker as they deem appropriate.

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

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

    The Author has 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 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.

     

  • Thor Mining’s (LSE:THR) Molyhil project is known for being one of the Western world’s higher-grade open tungsten and molybdenum projects. However, a prospectus released back in August 2006 suggests that the asset also boasts copper mineralisation that could boost its attractive economics further.

    Wholly owned by Thor, Molyhil is based in Australia’s Northern Territory and consists of two adjacent magnetite skarn bodies with economic mineralisation of scheelite, molybdenite, and magnetite. Thor has carried out large amounts of work on the project including resource extension drilling, metallurgical test work, technical, environmental and social studies, and environmental permitting.

    An upgraded feasibility study published last year gave the project a A$239m (c.£130m) EBITDA and a post-tax payback period of within 18 months of first production. Meanwhile, the work also gave the asset an all equity NPV(5) of A$101m (c.£55m), a 59pc IRR, and a seven-year mine life with potential for underground extension. More recently, drilling at the nearby Bonya tenements has strongly suggested several additional years of mine-life at Molyhil.

    These figures were derived from an updated open-cut ore reserve statement published in January last year. This gave Molyhil probably reserves of 3.5MMts at 0.29pc tungsten trioxide and 0.12pc molybdenum – equivalent to 10,200t and 4,300ts of each metal respectively.

    There is no question that these figures paint a promising picture for Molyhil’s prospectivity. However, a quick look back at a project resource estimate contained within a Thor prospectus released more than a decade ago suggests that the project’s tungsten and molybdenum resources could be complemented by the presence of copper. Indeed, the work, which was carried out to a 150m depth, gives Molyhil a total resource of 2.4MMt at 0.072pc copper – split between 0.088pc measured, 0.06pc indicated, and 0.1pc inferred.

    Now, this resource estimate is clearly dated – indeed, the total resource estimate of 2.4MMts sits well below the figures used in the asset’s most up-to-date feasibility study. Likewise, a copper resource of 1,728ts (2.4MMt * 0.072pc) is hardly going to set the world alight on its own. However, with current prices valuing this stock of the red metal at around £10.5m, its inclusion in Molyhil’s overall economics could be significant.

    Indeed, this figure would underpin a large portion of Molyhil’s current $43m (£33.8m) project finance estimate. As such, it could help to cut Thor’s project payback period from 18 months to an even shorter timeframe. What’s more, all of Molyhil ore must be processed comprehensively to produce tungsten – the site’s most valuable metal. Part of this process involves floating off any associated Molybdenum and sulphides. With this in mind, it seems likely that floating off any copper would come at very little additional cost.

    These points could provide Thor with some additional support as it continues to finalise offtake agreements at Molyhil. At the end of last month, the business’s executive chairman Mick Billing said his confidence in securing agreements ‘remains firm’, adding that the business has seen positive engagements from numerous players. Could an additional copper resource help to push a deal over the line?

    Finally, the presence of copper at Molyhil would complement the potential offered by Thor’s 40pc-owned, adjacent Bonya tenements. Last November, an initial estimate gave the historic Bonya Copper Mine deposit an inferred resource of 230,000ts grading 2pc copper. Following this, drilling earlier this month at Bonya’s Samarkand prospect encountered 5m at 0.5pc copper from 9m, 12m at 0.69pc copper from 22m, and 6m at 0.97pc copper from 38m.

    All-in-all, the historic copper on offer at Molyhil is unlikely to be a game-changer for Thor on its own. However, if the company decides to re-visit the resource, it could prove to be a deal-maker for any potential financier.

    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.

  • Jangada Mines (LSE:JAN) announces a significant improvement to the economics of its Pedra Branca project through the addition of a JORC compliant nickel and copper sulphide resource. The new resource will be included in the Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS), slated for delivery in H1 2019, and is expected to substantially improve already favourable economics.

    The company announced it had identified the mineralization in October. The new nickel resource conveniently sits below the existing target PGM resource and planned open-pit mine. Since the nickel can be processed and recovered using the same plant as the PGMs there will be minimal additional CAPEX required making extraction economical.

    Its estimated the new resource consists of around 8.2 million tonnes of mineral which the company believes could be worth an additional $110m project revenue at today’s spot price. Jangada also highlights that there is a strong chance the resource can be increased further as it is open at depth and along strike.

    Brain McMaster told MiningMaven:

    “Today’s news is highly positive for Jangada. The inclusion of our maiden nickel resource significantly improves Pedra Branca's economics, for what should be a minimal increase in the cap-ex requirement. The reason for this is that the nickel sulphide body is close to the existing PGM resource and will get processed by the same plant, so no additional plant will be required.”

    This is a great way for us to end 2018 and marks what I expect will be the beginning of a period of increased news flow, as we advance towards completing the Bankable Feasibility Study in the spring.”


    Pedra Branca covers around 48,000 hectares and Jangada estimates the project will produce around 64,000 ounces of PGM+Au per annum.

    At today’s platinum price of $787, forecast production would generate a rough ballpark figure for revenues of $50.368m. That’s a conservative calculation since Spot palladium and gold are priced significantly higher at $1250, and $1240 respectively.

    In November Jangada announced a 32% reduction in total capital expenditure required, estimating costs for year one of $81.482m. This suggests an impressive payback time on initial investment of just 1.62 years.

    Today’s JORC resource addition further enhances project economics at Pedra Branca, while fundamentals for nickel and copper continue to look strong due to decreasing supply and increased demand from new battery technologies.

    Brian McMaster, Chairman of Jangada, said: “Our ongoing work has enabled us to further understand the dynamics, scale and potential of the ore-body; the Project’s main economic drivers are palladium, platinum and nickel and the associated by-products are essentially cream on the top. “The planned processing route allows us to process and recover all metals in one concentrate from the one plant, meaning that the economics of Pedra Branca have improved substantially. We expect to demonstrate this in the upcoming BFS. Clearly, the current NPV of US$192 million against the Company’s current circa £6 million market cap demonstrates a disparity between asset and valuation; we expect this gap to close substantially as we continue to de-risk the Project.”

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

    The Author currently holds a position or positions 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

     

  • Forum Energy Metals (TSX-V:FMC) surprised the Canadian markets earlier this month when it revealed that it had secured $30m deal with Rio Tinto Exploration over its Janice Lake sedimentary copper project in Canada. With the support of a major mining player, Forum has been granted the fire power needed to realise the true potential of its asset, which it believes to mirror the giant Udokan Deposits of the Lake Baikal region in Siberia. Here, CEO Rick Mazur and VP exploration Ken Wheatley talk through their decision to enter the copper sector, the value presenting itself at Janice Lake, and progress across the rest of Forum’s portfolio.

    Broader focus

    Forum was established in 2004 as a uranium exploration firm. However, following an extended bear-run in the uranium market in the wake of the 2012 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the company decided to extend its focus into the wider energy metals market last year. After changing its name from ‘Forum Uranium’, the business selected the copper market as its first foray into previously uncharted territory.

    Forum’s decision to get exposure to the red metal is favoured by the general outlook of the commodity analyst community. Many experts expect copper prices to experience a sharp swing upwards over the coming years following a recent, well-publicised downturn across most commodity markets in the face of weak global growth and US/China trade tensions.

    On the demand side, this shift is expected to come down primarily to two factors. First-of-all, China’s acceleration into a phase of infrastructure development is expected to require an unprecedented amount of copper. A good example is the country’s ‘belt and road’ initiative, which aims to create the world’s largest platform for economic cooperation covering policy coordination, trade, financing, and social partnerships. Most notably, the initiative is expected to include a continuous network of highways, railways, ocean routes and ports, with plans to expand over 68 countries and several continents at a cost of $4trn to $8trm.

    The second demand driver is expected to be an increased uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) over the coming decades. On average, EVs contain 183lbs of copper compared to just 18-49lbs in conventional cars. With the number of EVs on the road expect to hit 125m by 2030 - compared to c.3.1m in 2017 - Citigroup expects prices of the metal to pass $9,000 by 2028. In comparison, the metal current sits below $6,500/t.

    Meanwhile, on the supply side, many analysts believe that a sustained downturn has created an environment where too few copper projects are coming on stream to meet the predicted explosion in demand for the metal. Likewise, China’s plans to ban all scrap copper imports by 2020 as part of broader environmental reform is expected to provide international producers and processors with a significant opportunity.

    Copper is the mother of all base metals,’ adds Mazur. ‘When economies are growing, huge amounts of copper are required for areas like construction and power. These are the biggest drivers for the market. The EV sector is also crucial because it presents a huge amount of incremental growth that has caught suppliers completely off guard. Overall, the fundamentals for the copper market are very, very strong, so it seemed a great space for us to enter.’

    Janice Lake

    Forum’s copper exposure comes from a sedimentary copper project called Janice Lake found 55km from Cameco’s Key Lake processing facility in Saskatchewan, Canada’s number-one rated mining jurisdiction. The organisation optioned a 100pc interest in the asset last February from Transition Metals in exchange for 8m of its shares and $250,000 worth of staged cash payments over four years. Transition will also retain a 2pc net smelter royalty on metal produced from the site.

    Map showing location of Janice Lake project

    The deal covered 17,600 hectares of staked claims in an area called ‘the most significantconcentration of sediment-hosted copper showings yet known in the Wollaston Domain’ by the Saskatchewan Geological Survey. Limited drilling in the area before Forum’s entry appears to support this claim, with operators encountering mineralisation for 6km on the Janice trend.

    Specifically, Noranda drilled 0.77pc copper over 33m including 1.6pc copper over 6m, within 35m of the surface back in 1993 while Phelps Dodge discovered a new zone in 2003 including 0.72pc copper over 26m. Likewise, grab samples collected by Transition have returned values ranging from 0.34 to 9.35pc copper and 0.7 to 61.7 g/t silver.

    According to Mazur, these results highlight the potential for the discovery of multiple near-surface, sediment-hosted copper deposits. Sediment-hosted deposits are estimated to account for around a quarter of worldwide copper production and frequently contain higher concentrations of the metal, alongside accessory base and precious metals, than porphyry deposits.

    Specifically, Mazur says the age and depositional environment at Janice Lake are similar to the giant Udokan Deposits of the Lake Baikal region in Siberia and the Revette deposits of Montana, USA. With Udokan boasting JORC compliant measured and indicated resources of 1.822 billion tonnes grading 1.01pc copper and14.3 g/t silver, these parallels could be highly significant. As such, Mazur says Forum immediately was keen to take advantage of Janice Lake’s lack of development in spite of its early-stage prospectivity.

    Likewise, to take advantage of the broader potential for sediment-hosted copper deposits on offer in the more expansive Janice area, Forum has increased its presence significantly since last February’s deal. Firstly, the firm staked an additional 15,331 hectares of claims covering over 30km in the region alongside transition last year.

    Then, earlier this month, the business announced that it had staked a further 19,312 hectares to the southwest, doubling the size of the property to 38,250 hectares.

    ‘The attraction of this project when we acquired was that over a 6km trend there were only 40 drill holes ever drilled. Firms were hitting copper everywhere, but operators were never really able to put it together,’ says Mazur. ‘We think there is potential for a huge copper deposit in this sedimentary basin. The drilling that was done previously showed excellent economic grades and persistent copper over 6km, so that’s why we staked the 24km trend.’ 

    Initial drilling

    To make the most of its first-mover advantage, Forum completed a drilling programme of its own at Janice Lake several months after entering the area. This comprised four holes targeting the JS-2 area of historical drilling completed by Phelps Dodge to extend Janice Lake’s known strike of copper mineralisation.

    The programme was an immediate success, with all four holes encountering copper mineralisation within 80m of the surface. Highlights included a 19m intersection grading 1pc copper including 5.7m of 2.18pc copper within a 50.5m interval grading 0.45pc copper. Forum also encountered a 15m zone of mineralisation containing 1.09pc lead and 0.62pc zinc within a 5m intersection grading 0.39pc copper and 4.3 g/t silver. Wheatley says the results suggest mineralisation at Janice Lake is hosted by mafic-rich stratigraphy within more felsic units. In Layman’s terms, this opens up the possibility for multiple layers of copper mineralisation:

    ‘I think we have multiple horizons of copper mineralisation that were not necessarily recognised by previous operators. They drilled along strike, but I do not think they realised that that was just one of the layers of copper. We see a series of layers of mineralisation. So, the whole area is mineralised. If we can find some sweet spot areas, then it will help to understand the area better,’ he says. ‘The trick now is going to be getting some grade holes to show that it is economical. The next stage will be hundreds of thousands of metres of drilling to prove up an orebody. That is what it takes to get to pre-feasibility. We think the potential here is to develop an open pit mining resource and mine a lot of tonnes of copper.

    Major interest

    This drilling success did not go unnoticed, with both Forum and Janice Lake taking a major step forward earlier this month when Rio Tinto Exploration Canada entered into an option on the project. The mining major has entered a joint venture agreement with Forum that will see it commit to $3m in exploration at Janice Lake over the next year-and-a-half.

    Alongside this, Rio Tinto has also been granted two options. The first of these gives its four years to acquire a 51pc stake in Janice Lake by spending $10m on exploration, making $490,000 in cash payments.As a bonus, the business must also service Forum’s remaining $200,000 worth of underlying cash payments to Transition for acquiring Janice Lake in the first place.In other words, Forum has negotiated a multi-year deal with a world-leading mining company on a project that it is yet to acquire itself fully. The second option gives Rio Tinto the right to earn a further 29pc stake in Janice Lake by spending another $20m in exploration over three years while making additional cash payments of $150,000.

    Encouragingly, Rio Tinto is already planning a high-resolution airborne magnetometer survey over the entire extent of Janice Lake alongside c.7,000m of drilling in 25-30 holes to meet its 2019 exploration commitments. Mazur says this sort of support from a business like Rio Tinto is transformational for Forum because it will allow it to realise Janice Lake’s true potential: 

     ‘The Rio Tinto deal is exceptional at this stage of the project. The company obviously sees what we see- Janice Lake’s potential to become a mine. We are pleased to have the team on board- Rio Tinto is obviously one of the biggest copper producers in the world, so the technical team it can bring to this is tremendous. We are really excited to have the company come in to the project and build a mine for us.’

    Wider interests

    Forum also offers exposure to several additional assets beyond Janice Lake, which MiningMaven will cover in great detail in a future report.  One of the most significant of these is its 100pc-owned Quartz Gulch cobalt exploration project in America’s Idaho copper belt. Quartz Gulch is based around 5kms to the south-east of the past-producing Blackbird cobalt mine and the eCobalt Solutions Idaho cobalt project - currently, the only permitted cobalt mine under development in North America.

    Although Janice Lake remains Forum’s primary focus at present, Mazur says he believes that the business could benefit from having a significant strategic foothold in Idaho as conditions in the cobalt market develop: ‘We are locked-in at the best cobalt area in North America, adjacent to former production and a developing mine,’he says. ‘Cobalt is a vital element in the cathode of Li-ion batteries and will be for years to come. The primary source of cobalt is currently the DRC, which is very unstable. I think battery suppliers are increasingly seeking out a secure source of cobalt, so that is why we are getting into the metal in the US.’

    Forum also has a majority interest in seven drill-ready uranium exploration properties in Canada’s Athabasca Basin, where some of the richest deposits for the metal are found globally. The projects are under the direction of Wheatley, a professional geologist who boasts an exploration discovery record of eight uranium deposits. Four of these became producing mines.

    Mazur tells us the company will return to the projects when conditions in the uranium market begin to recover: ‘Although the market went soft on us, we believe things will come back into balance. The demand for uranium in China is huge and growing – the country is building nuclear power plants as part of its 20-year plans to replace all of its coal-fired power generation.’


    Map showing location of Athabasca Basin prospects

    Growing awareness

    The parallels being drawn between Janice Lake and hugely successful sedimentary copper projects alongside the asset’s ability to attract a major mining player at such an early stage are very encouraging. With guidance from Forum’s highly experienced management and technical team and financial firepower from Rio Tinto, the project really has been granted the best possible shot at realising its potential.

    Beyond Janice Lake, the assets present across the remainder of Forum’s portfolio both ensure diversification and give investors additional exposure to powerful global trends like increasing nuclear power and EV usage. Although positive, market reaction to the Rio Tinto deal was somewhat muted. With a work programme coming up and investors growing privy to Janice Lake’s prospectivity, it will be interesting to see where Forum’s shares go from here.

    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 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 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.

  • Canadian cobalt developer Global Energy Metals (TSX-V:GEMC) revealed that it has made a payment that will allow it to begin exploration work at its two projects near Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada on Thursday. The firm, which has announced plans to co-list in London, said it made a payment to the Bureau of Land Management for the required reclamation bond fee to begin drilling at the sites, which are called Lovelock and Treasure Box.

    The properties are located in Churchill County, around 150km east of Tesla’s major battery factory in Sparks. Lovelock covers around 1,400 acres and is said to have produced 500ts of cobalt and nickel mineralisation between 1883 and 1890 when it was last in operation. Global Energy believes exploration work and modern drilling techniques could unlock a large amount of potential value at the site.

    Treasure Box, meanwhile, is adjacent to Lovelock and hosts mine workings from limited copper production, which occurred until early into the 20th century. A historical diamond drill hole at the asset reportedly intersected 1.52pc copper over 85ft, with mineralisation beginning at surface.

    Global Energy’s chief executive Mitchell Smith said completing the bond payment would enable the business to move forward with a staged exploration programme at Lovelock. He added that this will allow for further definition of the character, size, and potential of the nickel-cobalt-copper system at the asset.

    ‘We are excited about this initial phase of exploration and are very optimistic that this strategically located asset will significantly further the growth of our company,’ said Smith.

    The company said its exploration program will be informed by ground induced polarisation surveys that defined areas of anomalous subsurface chargeability. This work has generated a number of drill-ready targets. The business is now reviewing work program options and anticipated announcing details of the first-phase exploration in the ‘near future’.

    Earlier this month, Global Energy raised $813,500 in an oversubscribed placing at $0.05 a share to support the funding of the programme. Meanwhile, it announced in March that it had made its first option payment towards acquiring an 85pc stake in both sites. To do this, it issued 384,627 of its shares to the projects’ current owner Nevada Sunrise and paid $20,000 to the underlying vendor.

    Global Energy focuses on offering security of supply of cobalt, which is a critical material in the rapidly growing rechargeable battery market. It is building a diversified global portfolio of assets in the sector, including project stakes, projects and other supply sources.

    The business’s flagship asset is the Millennium Project in the world-renowned Mt. Isa region of Queensland, Australia. It executed the final agreements to take a 100pc interest in the project in November. Millennium is a multi-zone, near-surface cobalt-copper sulphide system with several kilometres of potential strike length. It is located near established mining, transport, and processing infrastructure and offers easy access to a very skilled workforce.

    The growth-stage site contains a defined zone of cobalt-copper mineralisation.  Here, a 2016 JORC Resource estimate identified 3.1MMts of inferred resources containing 0.14pc cobalt and 0.34pc copper with gold credits. Global Energy is now looking at ways to increase the size of its deposit. Results from a first phase exploration campaign at two zones called Millennium North and Millennium South exceeded grade and thickness expectations. The firm will now carry out a second phase of drilling to examine both areas further.

    Alongside Millennium, Global Energy has acquired two further discovery sites called Mt. Dorothy and Cobalt Ridge.  These are collectively known as the ‘Mt. Isa projects’. The areas expand Global Energy’s Australian land position by nearly twenty times but have yet to be exploited. Exploration to date has returned high-grade cobalt intercepts at both, allowing Global Energy to line up numerous targets for further investigation and test work to define a resource.

    Finally, the business currently owns 70pc of the Werner Lake cobalt mine in Ontario Canada. It joint venture partner Marquee Resources is enjoying much success in its ongoing exploration campaign at the asset.

    Author: Daniel Flynn

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

    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 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

  • Toronto-listed cobalt developer Global Energy Metals (TSXC:GEMC) has announced numerous encouraging intersections from the latest round of drilling at its 70pc-owned Werner Lake project in Ontario, Canada. Five new metallurgical drill holes have been completed by Australian miner Marquee Resources as part of its $2.5m commitment to advance Werner Lake and earn-in to 70pc of the project.

  • On Tuesday Greatland Gold (LSE:GGP) said it had reached a farm-in agreement with Newcrest Operations Limited concerning its Havieron gold-copper project in Western Australia. The deal gives Newcrest Operations, a subsidiary of Australia’s leading gold producer, Newcrest Mining, the right to acquire up to a 70pc interest in the 12 blocks that cover the Havieron target. In return, Newcrest will spend up to US$65m on exploration and development of the asset.

    Four milestone stages have been agreed upon, starting with a US$10m spend on the blocks by Newcrest. Stage two will give Newcrest a 40pc earn-in and requires an additional US$10m investment within 12 months of the completion of stage one. Delivery of a Feasibility Study as well as a further US$25m in expenditure within two years from the satisfactory completion of stage two takes Newcrests ownership of the blocks to 60pc. Finally stage four requires a further US$20m spend, taking Newcrest up to a 70% working interest.

    Assuming a positive Feasibility Study is delivered, the companies intend on processing ore at Newcrest's Telfer Gold Mine which is situated around 45km from Havieron. As today’s RNS highlights, this has significant benefits including no requirement another plant, the usage of existing infrastructure, and a reduction in the time to first production and revenues. 

    Gervaise Heddle, Chief Executive Officer of Greatland Gold, commented:

    "We are delighted to welcome Newcrest as our chosen partner for accelerating the exploration and development ofHavieron. Greatland will receive tremendous benefit from Newcrest's experience as a developer and producer at Telfer and Newcrest's broader understanding of the geology of the Paterson region. We believe that this deal represents a win-win for both parties due to the potential for significantly reduced capital costs and increased efficiency resulting from ore being toll processed at Newcrest's nearby Telfer mine. Moreover, Newcrest's expertise should help fast trackHavieron through to a completed Feasibility Study and, subject to positive outcomes, into production and positive cash flow."

    "The terms of the Farm-in agreement recognise both the exciting potential of theHavieron project and the significant value that has been added to the project through a series of systematic exploration campaigns by Greatland since it was acquired in September 2016. Additionally, we believe that Newcrest's first right of refusal over the remainder of Greatland's Paterson project (the Black Hills and Paterson Range East licences and the areas of theHavieron licence not included in the Tenement Blocks) represents a strong endorsement of the attractiveness andprospectivity of our licences in the region.

    "In summary, we are very excited about the future of  Havieron and the Paterson region more generally and we believe that this agreement with Newcrest will serve as a foundation on which we can build Greatland into a large and successful business delivering significant returns to our shareholders." 

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

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

    Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not own 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 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.



     

  • Kavango Resources (LSE:KAV) was trading down slightly at 3.2p on Monday morning after launching a £500,000 placing to accelerate its exploration work in Botswana. The firm placed c.17.9m shares at 2.8p each, a premium to the 2.5p it raised at when it entered the London market last July.

    Kavango holds 15 prospecting licences covering 9,231km2 of ground in Botswana, including most of the 450km long Kalahari Suture Zone (KSZ) magnetic anomaly in the southwest of the country. Here, the business is exploring for copper, nickel, and platinum group element-rich sulphide orebodies. The area is yet to be examined using modern drilling techniques. However, Kavango argues that it has a similar geological setting to the giant Norilsk copper/nickel deposits in Siberia.

    In Monday’s update, chief executive Michael Foster said the proceeds from the placing will allow Kavango to accelerate its exploration programme on the KSZ.

    At the end of January, the business announced that it plans to begin an initial 1,000m drill programme at its Ditau project on the anomaly this month. This is designed to intersect two ‘very compelling’ coincident geophysical and geochemical base metal conductor/anomalies.

    Elsewhere, the firm has mobilised the second phase of an airborne electromagnetic survey over its 15 prospecting licences in the KSZ. The airborne EM survey is the first stage in the company’s efforts to identify sulphide orebodies. It detects and prioritises potential locations for these deposits, which Kavango can then follow up with more detailed groundwork and drilling.

    Flying for the second phase of the survey is expected to take between four to six weeks to complete and will cover up to 2,062 line-kilometres in the Hukunstsi area of Botswana.

    On Monday, Foster said: ‘Our current exploration programme in Botswana is on track, with both the airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey (see RNS dated 21 January 2019) and the drilling at Ditau, which forms part of the KSZ project (see RNS dated 28 January 2019) progressing according to plan. Further information is expected to be available shortly on both these programmes which the Company will of course relay to the market at that time’.

    Finally, he added that the placing funds will also allow Kavango to review other ‘highly selective but potentially very interesting natural resource opportunities in Botswana.’

    It is also worth noting that each placed share also has a warrant attached. This is exercisable at 12p from the earlier of the date falling one year after the time of admission or the date of the publication of a prospectus until 31 July 2020.

    What’s more, if exercised, the warrant gives the holder the right to an additional half-warrant exercisable at 24p before 31 July 2022. This ambitious target will likely send out a positive message to investors regarding management’s belief in where Kavango could be heading over the medium term.

    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

  • Kavango Resources (LSE:KAV) rose by nearly a third to 2.3p on Monday morning after announcing the imminent drilling of one of its major prospects in Botswana. The firm plans to begin work at its Ditau prospect, which forms part of the Kalahari Suture Zone (KSZ), early next month.

    The KSZ is a 450km-long magnetic anomaly along which Kavango is exploring for copper, nickel, and PGE-rich sulphide orebodies at depth. The area is yet to be examined using modern drilling techniques. Mining consultant MSA Group has backed the potential presence of these deposits on the KSZ, first explored in the 1980s and 1990s. Meanwhile, Kavango has suggested that the area has a similar geological setting to the giant Norilsk copper/nickel deposits in Siberia.

    Kavango’s initial 1,000m drill program is designed to intersect two coincident geophysical and geochemical base metal conductor/anomalies at the site. These are based at depths of 100m and 200m. The work will involve a combination of reverse circulation and core drilling, with conductors extending to depths of more than 600m. Kavango has signed a drilling contract with Maquana Explorations, an experienced Botswana company based at Selebi-Phikwe.

    In today’s update, the firm said target anomalies extend north-south for at least 4km at Ditau. It added that they represent ‘very compelling’ geophysical anomalies that are coincident with zinc in soil anomalies at the surface. Zinc acts a pathfinder for potential base metal mineralisation at depth because it is the most mobile of the base metal elements.

    Chief executive Michael Foster added: ‘We are pleased to be able to announce the start of drilling at the first of several exciting coincident geophysical and geochemical base metal anomalies that have been identified at the Ditau Prospect, which forms part of the KSZ Project. The drilling is scheduled to commence shortly and results will be announced as they become available.’

    The news comes just a week after Kavango announced that it has now mobilised the second phase of an airborne electromagnetic survey over its 15 prospecting licences in the KSZ area. The airborne EM survey is the first stage in the company’s efforts to identify these sulphide orebodies. It detects and prioritises potential locations for these deposits, which Kavango can then follow up with more detailed groundwork and drilling.

    Flying for the second phase of the survey is expected to begin later this month. It will take between four to six weeks to complete and will cover up to 2,062 line-kilometres in the Hukunstsi area of Botswana. On this, Foster said in Monday’s update:

    ‘With the success of our exploration techniques, we expect many more anomalous areas to be identified following completion of Phase 2 of the airborne electro-magnetic (AEM) survey (see announcement of 21 January 2019). These will be followed up on the ground and prioritized for drilling.’

    As revealed earlier this month, Kavango has contracted the services of a leading airborne geophysical survey player called SkyTEM for its latest phase of AEM work. SkyTEM offers a ground-breaking, high-power surveying system that has been optimised to reach a depth of up to 300m below the earth’s crust.

    It reaches these depths by using a high current and low base frequency of 12.5hz. According to Kavango, the technology has not been used in Africa before and is more effective than the older systems currently on the market.

    Speaking to Mining Maven, Kavango’s exploration director Mike Moles said the technology will let Kavango investigate for orebodies at a deeper level and with higher resolution than it could in the first phase of its survey.

    The company identified 26 conductive anomalies over 2,000 line-km of the KSZ project during this stage of work. However, the technology used did not penetrate deep enough beneath the surface. As such, Kavango was unable to tell which anomalies were low priority near-surface conductors like clays and shales and which went much deeper.

    He believes the new technology will make it much easier for Kavango to differentiate between the two types of anomalies.

    ‘We will immediately be able to see which conductors have a depth component to them and represent high priority targets. Likewise, it will be much easier for the business to identify and ignore those surficial conductors that are very often just clays and other conductive materials that lie within the first 50-60m below the surface,’ he told us.

    ‘The technology we contracted in Phase One used a much higher frequency and was not getting deep enough to differentiate between the shallow and deep targets. If we had SkyTEM’s technology back in September when we launched the campaign, we could have reduced the number of conductors worth following up from 26 to about six or seven straight away. Using our new approach, we should be to turn over these conductors much more quickly in Phase Two.’

    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

  • Kavango Resources (LSE:KAV) rose 1.9p on Monday after revealing the imminent launch of its next phase of airborne electromagnetic (AEM) surveying over Botswana’s Kalahari Suture Zone (KSZ). Importantly, the company also revealed that it has contracted a high-power new technology to carry out the work. It expects this to ramp up the speed at which it can highlight potential copper, nickel, and PGE mineralisation in the area dramatically. Speaking exclusively to MiningMaven, Kavango’s exploration director Mike Moles told us the significance of this development and how it could help the company in its quest to identify Norilsk-like mineralisation at the KSZ.

    Surveying targets

    In Monday’s update, Kavango announced that it has now mobilised the second phase of its AEM survey. The work is being carried out over the business’s 15 prospecting licences in Southwest Botswana. Much of this sits on the KSZ, which is a highly-prospective, 450km2-long magnetic anomaly.

    Kavango hopes to identify massive sulphide orebodies containing vast amounts of nickel, copper, and platinum group elements beneath the KSZ’s surface. Mining consultant MSA Group has backed the potential presence of these deposits on the KSZ, which was first explored in the 1980s and 1990s. Meanwhile, Kavango has suggested that the area has a similar geological setting to the giant Norilsk copper/nickel deposits in Siberia.

    The airborne EM survey is the first stage in the company’s efforts to identify these sulphide orebodies. It detects and prioritises potential locations for these deposits, which Kavango can then follow up with more detailed groundwork and drilling.

    Flying for the second phase of the survey is expected to begin later this month, with the first phase completing at the end of last year. It will take between four to six weeks to complete and will cover up to 2,062 line-kilometres in the Hukunstsi area of Botswana.

    The highlight of Monday’s announcement was the news that Kavango has contracted the services of a leading airborne geophysical survey player called SkyTEM for its latest phase of work. SkyTEM offers a ground-breaking, high-power surveying system that has been optimised to reach a depth of up to 300m below the earth’s crust.

    It reaches these depths by using a high current and low base frequency of 12.5hz. According to Kavango, the technology has not been used in Africa before and is more effective than the older systems currently on the market.

    Increasing efficiency

    Moles tells us the technology will allow Kavango to investigate for orebodies at a much deeper level and with higher resolution than it was able to in the first phase of its survey.

    The company identified 26 conductive anomalies over 2,000 line-km of the KSZ project during this stage of work. However, the technology used did not penetrate deep enough beneath the surface. As such Kavango was unable to tell which anomalies were low priority near-surface conductors like clays and shales and which went much deeper.

    In layman’s terms, the deeper an anomaly is, the more likely to be prospective for mineralisation. This makes it a higher priority drilling target for Kavango.  As such, the firm was forced to carry out groundwork on all 26 targets to determine whether they were worth following up. Moles tells us this was a difficult task that took longer than expected to complete.

    He believes the new technology will make it much easier for Kavango to differentiate between the two types of anomalies.

    ‘We will immediately be able to see which conductors have a depth component to them and represent high priority targets. Likewise, it will be much easier for the business to identify and ignore those surficial conductors that are very often just clays and other conductive materials that lie within the first 50-60m below the surface,’ he told us.

    ‘The technology we contracted in Phase One used a much higher frequency and was not getting deep enough to differentiate between the shallow and deep targets. If we had SkyTEM’s technology back in September when we launched the campaign, we could have reduced the number of conductors worth following up from 26 to about six or seven straight away. Using our new approach, we should be to turn over these conductors much more quickly in Phase Two.’

    To assess the effectiveness of SkyTEMS’ technology, Moles told us that Kavango also plans to run lines over some of the areas it surveyed in Phase One and compare results. However, he tells us he is already very confident that the results will be positive:

    ‘We are confident that this new technique will work. A huge amount of test work has been completed in the past to demonstrate its effectiveness. We think it will represent major step forward in our exploration strategy.’

    If Moles’ confidence translates into results this could prove to be highly significant for £2.5m valued Kavango. Since listing last summer the company’s story hasn’t attracted a great deal of attention, despite the progress it has made on the ground. Exploration plays can be extremely racey stocks and with the size of target Kavango is going for, the deployment of the new technology could give it just the edge it needs. 

    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

  • Metal Tiger (LSE:MTR) and MOD Resources (LSE:MOD) fell this morning after revealing that a hole drilled by their joint venture (JV) business in Botswana did not return commercial grades. However, with another hole intersecting wide zones of finely disseminated copper mineralisation, the firms said they remain ‘very encouraged’ by their initial results in the country’s Kalahari Copper Belt (KCB).

    Today saw the companies update investors on the exploration activities completed by JV business Tshukudu Exploration, formed earlier this year when Metal Tiger sold its stake in the T3 project, also based in the KCB. Tshukudu is 30pc-owned by Metal Tiger and 70pc-owned by MOD and controls exploration permits covering around 8,000km2 in the KCB. It is worth noting that Metal Tiger’s exposure is bolstered further by its 12.5pc stake in MOD.

    As previously announced, Tshukudu has been carrying out widely-spaced drilling at a prospect called the T23 Dome, which is part of the regional scale T20 exploration project. It sits around 15km west of another prospect called T4, where the JV intersected strong copper mineralisation in 2016, including an intersection of 2m at 6.1pc copper and 111 g/t silver from 101m depth.

    In today’s update, Tshukudu’s owners revealed the assay results for hole MO-T23-001D, its first foray into the T23 dome. It encountered a shallow intersection of 25m at 0.36pc copper and 4g/t silver from 65m downhole depth, including 3m at 0.7pc Cu & 10g/t Ag from 65m downhole and 1m at 1pc Cu & 13g/t Ag from 80m downhole.

    MOD said that while these are not economic grades, they do confirm that copper mineralisation occurs in the sequence – called the lower D’Kar formation – that hosts all known deposits in KCB. MOD added that this provides Tshukudu with the confidence to expand drilling to test the potential for high-grade vein systems and high-priority NPF contact along the structurally complex area.

    As at writing, Metal Tiger was trading down 13.5pc to 1.47p while MOD had fallen 7.6pc to 19.4p following the release of the news. These falls come despite a third diamond drilling hole at T23 – MO-T23-003D – intersecting wide zones of finely disseminated chalcocite and bornite copper mineralisation from 85m to 385m downhole depth. The hole also encountered a strongly mineralised vein at 268m, confirming the potential for high-grade vein-hosted mineralisation similar to other copper discoveries in the KCB. Tshukudu is now waiting for assay results that will confirm copper grades in the hole.

    Elsewhere today, both companies reiterated that airborne electromagnetic geophysics surveys carried out over T23, T4, and another site called T22 has identified numerous additional prospects. These include several new buried dome structures and fold features that offer structural drilling targets for a programme planned in early 2019.

    Multiple copper and zinc soil anomalies have also been identified to the south of T23, extending around 60km along the centre of the T20 exploration project and open to the west.  These will be high priority targets for drill testing early next year.

    On today’s results, Michael McNeilly, chief executive officer at Metal Tiger, said: ‘We are delighted to report another intersection of shallow copper mineralisation on the T23 Dome, which forms part of the T20 Exploration Project, 100km west of the T3 Project. With further drilling targets identified by the latest geophysics data interpretation and soil sampling results, we have a qualified pipeline of further exploration drilling targets and a good prospect of new discoveries for 2019.’

    Meanwhile, MOD's managing director Julian Hanna added: ‘While we are still at an early stage of exploring the T23 Dome, we are very encouraged by the first drilling results. Having confirmed the prospectivity of this area, our exploration team can now start testing the potential for high-grade mineralisation within specific structures defined by the EM.

    ‘MOD's discovery in March 2016 which is now the T3 Copper Project, followed by recent successes at the A4 and A1 Domes, and now the T23 Dome, suggests the Central Structural Corridor, which links all these occurrences, may represent one of the largest, most under-explored district scale targets for sediment hosted copper.’

    When we spoke to McNeilly earlier this month, he reiterated his excitement at the sizeable unexplored potential on offer across Tshukudu’s considerable acreage in the KCB:

    ‘There is just a huge amount of area that we haven’t even covered yet, and so many different target deposits where we are looking for T3-type deposits where the mineralisation has ideally been thrust up, concentrated and folded over into a nice slab mineralisation near surface. There are also many prospective Ngwako Pan Formation contacts that host other substantial copper deposits at depth. With this much going on, the right thing to do at this time is to demonstrate the area’s potential for development. This is why we are going off and drilling other targets and not just spending our money on one area.’

    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

     

  • Metal Tiger (LSE:MTR) sat at 1.3p on Thursday after revealing strong exploration drilling progress in Botswana’s Kalahari Copper Belt (KCB) by one of its investment companies.  

  • Shares in Metal Tiger (LSE:MTR) were up 1.5% today after the company announced drilling results from its Joint Venture project (JV) with MOD Resources Limited. The project in the Kalahari Copper Belt in Botswana is 30% owned by Metal Tiger. The company reported that six widely spaced diamond drill holes has been completed in the first phase programme at the A1 Dome, approximately 22km from the T3 Copper Project. Assay results confirm wide disseminated copper intersections in two drill holes.

  • Metal Tiger (LSE:MTR) finished up 3.5pc to 1.3p on Monday after announcing that major institutional backer Sprott Capital Partners will support it in a £3m fundraise.

    The Botswana-focused mining investment business has signed a non-binding term sheet that will see Sprott act as finders on its behalf for a non-brokered private placement. Based in Toronto, Sprott is one of the world’s largest dedicated natural resources investors. Its affiliate company Exploration Capital Partners is Metal Tiger’s biggest shareholder, with a 10.2pc stake (as at October 2018).

    As part of the placing, nearly 207m Metal Tiger shares will be placed at 1.45p each, an 11.5pc premium to their middle market closing price on Friday last week. Alongside this, subject to Sprott raising the required funds, up to 103.5m warrants will be issued with an exercise price of 2p each and a term date of two years. The Sprott offering will only be available to certain accredited investors and is expected to close on or before 8 March 2019.

    Speaking to MiningMaven, Metal Tiger chief executive Michael McNeilly called the continuing endorsement of Sprott a ‘fantastic sign’ for the company.

    ‘We are delighted to have entered into the Sprott Term Sheet to raise up to an additional c.£3.0 million. Such additional funding will provide yet further support to our strategy, and we look forward to updating shareholders in this regard,’ he said.

    ‘It not only emphasises Sprott’s interest in getting more exposure to the Kalahari Copper Belt (KCB), a highly sought-after copper opportunity, but also in Metal Tiger’s wider portfolio and management. We look forward to working closely with them as we continue to realise the potential of our Botswana projects well as the rest of our high-impact portfolio.’

    Separately to the Sprott raise, Monday also saw Metal Tiger launch a further £1m placing to new and existing investors. This is also taking place at 1.45p a share with 2p warrants attached for every two placing shares purchased.

    A number of the company’s director will take part in this raise, including McNeilly and non-executive chairman Charles Hall, who will invest £14,500 and £58,000 respectively. Furthermore, Dianne Grammer, the wife of non-executive director Terry Grammer, will purchase £137,500 worth of shares.

    Metal Tiger said the proceeds would be used alongside existing cash resources to support its projects in the KCB. This includes the firm’s joint ventures with MOD Resources and Kalahari Metals (KMI). Metal Tiger has the right to acquire up to 50pc of KMI under an investment agreement established last June.

    On Monday, McNeilly added: ‘We are very pleased with the level of support we have received in respect of the Placing from new and existing investors. The Placing will enable Metal Tiger to, among other things, enter into constructive negotiations with Kalahari Metals, regarding the Company potentially providing further financing for proposed exploration drilling at the Okavango and Ngami projects. It will also allow us to continue to take advantage of opportunities that are identified by the Company.

    Last week, KMI revealed a series of drill-ready targets from the second phase of its airborne geophysics survey over two areas in the KCB called the Ngami copper project (NCP) and the Okavango copper project (OCP). The firm also doubled its exploration landholding in the KCB last November through an earn-in agreement with Resource Exploration and Development. This saw it acquire an interest in five recently granted exploration licences with a total area of 4,661km2. It now holds interests in 12 exploration licences covering 8,724km2 in the structure.

    Speaking to Mining Maven in December, McNeilly said the acquisition makes Metal Tiger the company with the biggest landholdings in the KCB globally. Alongside its indirect stake in KML, it is part of an exploration joint venture with MOD Resources that owns permits covering 8,000km2 in the area. It is also MOD’s largest shareholder, giving it significant exposure to the upside on offer at T3 without the burden of cash calls as the project develops.

    ‘We are a very highly leveraged play for a district that at some point is likely to be acquired by a mid-tier or subject to finding enough copper, a large-cap mining company,’ McNeilly told us.

    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

     

  • Like many of its peers, Metal Tiger (LSE:MTR) has suffered at the hands of a weak commodity market in recent months, with its shares falling from a high of 3.4p to their current 1.4p. However, far from concerning itself with this downturn, Metal Tiger has taken the opportunity to expand its copper acreage in Botswana’s Kalahari Copper Belt (KCB). Indeed, this expansion has been so vast that the company says it now holds more direct and indirect land in the highly-prospective, undeveloped region than any other business in the world. Fresh from setting-up a new exploration joint venture following a beneficial deal with long-term partner MOD Resources, Metal Tiger’s CEO Michael McNeilly tells us where he plans to take operations next.

    Maintaining exposure

    July saw Metal Tiger take the major step of selling off its 30pc stake in the T3 project, located in the KCB. The news came just months after a pre-feasibility study on the project gave it a base case NPV of $281m and only weeks after a resource upgrade gave it a total mineral resource estimate of 590Kt copper and 27Moz silver.

    Metal Tiger sold its stake to its 70pc joint venture (JV) partner on the project, MOD Resources, in exchange for 17.1m MOD shares and 40.7m unquoted options with a nil exercise price and three-year lifespan. It is worth noting that any remaining options will automatically convert to shares if MOD receives a takeover offer.

    When combined, the shares and options - worth A$27.7m at the time of the deal - take Metal Tiger’s position in MOD to 25pc, making it the company’s largest shareholder. Alongside the shares and options, Metal Tiger will retain a 2pc net smelter royalty for T3, capped at $2m, and received the right to appoint McNeilly to MOD’s board, allowing some continued oversight of the project.

    With the deal taking MOD’s position in T3 to 100pc, both firms argued that one party’s full ownership would make the project more attractive to development financiers. Meanwhile, Metal Tiger said its increased position in MOD would provide considerable ongoing exposure to the project while removing the financial burden of having to contribute to ongoing mine construction costs. 

    This ongoing exposure could prove particularly useful next March when MOD is expected to deliver a completed definitive feasibility study for T3. Provided it has been granted an environmental impact licence by this point, MOD intends to apply for a mining licence in H1 2019 with the aim of launching T3 into the next stage of its development.

    Given that both Metal Tiger and MOD are junior miners, McNeilly says he believes the terms of the deal represent the best outcome for shareholders:

    ‘This project developed from strength-to-strength very quickly. When work on the DFS began, Metal Tiger and MOD were left in a position where it would be very difficult to attract project financing for T3 because banks are more hesitant to engage with two companies with relatively small balance sheets than they are a mid-sized business or a major. We would have struggled to fund our 30pc stake, so removing our funding requirements and increasing our indirect exposure to the project by exchanging our stake for MOD shares and options was definitely the right thing to do for shareholders. We still have a board seat, so we will be very involved in helping and guiding MOD to protect the investment for our shareholders.’

    Exploration focus

    Aside from allowing Metal Tiger to relinquish its direct position in T3, July’s deal also saw the two firms transfer the 18 exploration licences held in the original JV into a new JV named Tshukudu Exploration. With the permits covering c.8,000km2 in the KCB - or 1,000 times the area covered by T3 - the new JV grants both sides the chance to focus specifically on their considerable exploration potential in the belt.

    Like its older iteration, the new JV will be 30pc owned by Metal Tiger and 70pc held by MOD. However, after factoring in Metal Tiger’s assumed 25pc equity position in MOD, the former’s stake in the JV increases to 47pc. The new JV also grants MOD the right to acquire a 100pc interest in any exploration asset on which the two firms decide to complete a scoping study.

    McNeilly tells us this increased exposure and ability to sell-off assets before they hit the development stage allows to better focus on exploration, which he calls the company’s ‘modus operandi’:

    ‘This deal maintains non-contributing exposure to T3’s development while leveraging us further towards exploration. Moving forward, it also gives MOD the ability to pay cash or shares for scoping study assets that it wants to develop. This gets us to where we really want to be - capturing value in the exploration/development chain. We think it is likely that MOD will buy scoping study assets off of us because it removes the need for them to continue paying a 2% net smelter royalty should production begin, in the event that they exercise their option to roll up the entire JV in 3 years from completion.’

    A great deal of work had already begun on these licences before establishing the new JV, and progress has only continued since. For example, drilling at the A1 and A4 domes, part of the T3 Dome complex (seen on the map below) has repeatedly found copper mineralisation.

    Meanwhile, in September, Metal Tiger announced that the JV had received approval to drill at its T20 exploration project, 100km west of T3. It will target the T4 dome and T4 prospect, where previous RC drilling identified copper. However, its first target has been the T23 dome, where Metal Tiger announced that it had intersected shallow copper mineralisation last month. Additional drilling rigs are now being mobilised to extend drilling in the area and re-start work at T4, 

    Beyond this immediate workflow, McNeilly remains excited by the sizeable unexplored potential on offer across the JV’s considerable acreage in the belt

    ‘There is just a huge amount of area that we haven’t even covered yet, and so many different target deposits where we are looking for T3-type deposits where the mineralisation has ideally been thrust up, concentrated and folded over into a nice slab mineralisation near surface. There are also many prospective Ngwako Pan Formation contacts that host other substantial copper deposits at depth. With this much going on, the right thing to do at this time is demonstrate the area’s potential for development. This is why we are going off and drilling other targets and not just spending our money on one area.’

    Land-grab 

    In June, Metal Tiger increased its exposure to the KCB even further by signing a binding agreement to buy up to 50pc of private, Botswanan-focused explorer Kalahari Metals (KML). KML holds interests in seven exploration licences covering 4,063km2 in the Belt, consisting of two 100pc owned licences and five subjected to a earn-in agreement with a business called Triprop Holdings.

    Since Metal Tiger announced the agreement, KML has completed a phase one exploration programme on its portfolio, carrying out airborne EM studies on copper projects called Ngami (NCP) and Okavango (OCP). The work generated numerous dome-style exploration targets analogous to the T3 Deposit while modelling has identified over 340km of potentially mineralised geological contact.  

    KML has prioritised these areas for follow-up work before drill testing once it has acquired the necessary permits. Drilling will proceed at NCP under an environmental management plan agreed with Botswana’s government. OCP, meanwhile, will require a more detailed environmental impact assessment to complete before drilling. Regardless, Metal Tiger believes KML should be in a position to start to test drill new copper targets by the end of Q1 2019.

    What’s more, KML extended its stake in the KCB further last month by entering into an earn-in agreement with Resource Exploration and Development to acquire an additional five licences covering 4,661km2 of ground.

    Metal Tiger has so far committed to two of the three stages that comprise the deal, giving it a 34pc position in the business. If it decides to commit to the final stage and take its stake to 50pc, then McNeilly believes Metal Tiger will hold an unparalleled land position in the prospective region:

    ‘I think the market has also missed the fact that Kalahari has acquired another bulk of land in the belt, taking its total exploration interests to more than 8,700km2. This would take its direct and indirect land interest to around 8,600km2. When we combine that with the 8000km2 or so held by our JV with MOD, Metal Tiger has become the company with the biggest landholdings in the Kalahari Copper Belt. We are a very highly leveraged play for a district that at some point is likely to be acquired by a mid-tier or subject to finding enough copper, a large-cap mining company.’

    Copper downturn

    Metal Tiger is building up its exposure to copper assets at a time when prices of the metal sit at a depressed level. After diving to lows of c.$5,800/lb in the third quarter, prices have bounced back slightly since September to lie flat at around $6,169/t. However, they remain well below 2018 highs of c.$7,300/t hit at the end of the second quarter.

    The factors driving this downturn vary, but it can at least be pinned partly on lingering concerns over an escalating trade war between the US and China, who have been trading sanctions and threats for the better part of the year. With China representing half of the world’s copper consumption, bears in the market have expressed concern around a slowing of global growth and, in turn, weaker demand for industrial material.

    McNeilly disagrees with this negative view, arguing that the supply and demand metrics remain ‘fine’. Indeed, he believes that the copper’s current weakness presents an opportunity to bolster Metal Tiger’s asset base at minimal cost ahead of an inevitable market rebound:

    ‘At some point, the mid-tier and major miners will have to start investing in exploration again and really start driving M&A again- we have already seen some very encouraging deals. What’s more, we are seeing state-owned companies in China being to pick up assets. This almost opportunistic buying can only mean that, at some point, prices will begin to seriously recover, especially if supply and demand forecasts hold true."

    One investor that seems to share McNeilly’s outlook is long-term shareholder and global asset manager Sprott, which has been increasing its position in Metal Tiger steadily over recent months to 15.4pc at last count. Notably, Sprott and its affiliates injected £2.6m into the business over the Summer when it raised £6.2m at 2.8p a share to support the financial commitments related to its MOD JV, its Kalahari tie-up, and working capital. McNeilly believes that the fact Sprott's input represents more than double its minimum commitment to the placing, sums up its enthusiasm for using the KCB as a way of playing any potential copper rebound:

     ‘Sprott is very committed to the potential of the district, and it's clear to see why - prospective ground packages of this scale are simply very difficult to find. Indeed, within the KCB you have one of the ten largest non-producing, undeveloped resources in the world.’ 

    Unfortunately, Sprott’s optimism around Metal Tiger has not been matched by that of the market. Like many of its peers in the junior resources space, it has been hit by the commodity market slump in recent months with shares falling from highs of 3.35p in August to their current 1.5p. This gives the firm a market cap of c.£21.3m. McNeilly says the complexity of its T3 deal has probably done little to mitigate the negative sentiment triggered by a weak copper market. Accordingly, he feels Metal Tiger is trading at a ‘massive discount to the sum of its parts’:

     ‘Our deal was complicated, and I think that some areas of the retail market have missed the considerable option value, huge amount of exposure to MOD, and liquidity it grants us. However, I would argue that we should not be trading at a discount as we have direct project interests and are contributing and we have a track record of being able to generate returns at minimised dilution. If anything, we should be trading close to or even at a premium because we can generate returns that a lot of these mining juniors simply cannot offer. The truth is that the market is tough this year. Many miners are struggling, and we are all down about the same amount. This will change, and Metal Tiger is well placed to capitalise when it does.’

    Shrewd operator

    While complex, Metal Tiger’s deal with MOD looks smart. Not only has the firm maintained exposure to the T3 Project while cutting its funding commitments, but it has also increased its effective exposure to the pair’s exploration assets in the prospective Kalahari Copper Belt. MOD’s London listing last month will only help UK investors in better understanding the real significance of these terms as T3 continues to move forward.

    Compounding this, Metal Tiger’s decision to buy a large stake in Kalahari Metals gives it yet more exposure to copper assets at a time when the market looks to have bottomed. Should McNeilly be correct in his belief that the copper market is due to turn around, then Metal Tiger’s huge asset base in a relatively under-developed region could provide investors with a great way to ride the wave.

    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

     

     

     

  • In this episode of the podcast, executive chairman of Thor Mining (LSE:THR), Mick Billing discusses the company’s recent gold recovery at Kapunda. Mick also gives an update on the acquisition of two gold and uranium assets, Pilbara Goldfields and Hammersley Metals and reports on drilling activities at the firms Bonya Tungsten project.

    This interview was recorded on 3rd April 2019.

    All opinions expressed are those of MiningMaven and the respective guests, unless otherwise stated and should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation to buy shares in any featured Company. From time to time MiningMaven principals may take equity positions in companies featured. Listeners are advised to do their own extensive research before buying shares which, as with all small cap exploration stocks, should be viewed as high risk. Investors should also seek the advice of a qualified investment adviser or stockbroker as they deem appropriate. MiningMaven.com is a trading division of Catalyst Information Services Limited. Registered in England no. 06537074 (Registered Office Address 3rd Floor Ivy Mill, Crown Street, Manchester, M35 9BG) #gold #mining #investing

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

    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 Systems Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not own a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    Catalyst Information Systems 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 Systems 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.

     

  • In this episode of the podcast, executive chairman of Thor Mining (LSE:THR), Mick Billing explains why he is ‘very excited’ by the interim drilling results from the Bonya tungsten deposits in Australia.

    Mick says the average grade of open pit tungsten mines around the globe is around 0.2pc tungsten trioxide (WO3). Molyhill has grades a little higher than that but testing by portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) at Bonya indicate grades well above average.

    ‘When we see results of 20-30 metres at around 0.7-0.75pc WO3 at Bonya we get pretty excited’ explains Mick during the interview.

    ‘Tungsten’s about four times the price of copper, so this is equivalent to copper grades of nearly 3pc. Anybody intersecting copper mineralisation around 3pc copper is going to be pretty happy, so that puts it into context’ Mick added.

    Thor holds a 40pc interest in Bonya which lies around 30km east of its 100pc owned Molyhil tungsten project. The drilling campaign consisted of around 2,500 metres of Reverse Circulation (RC) drilling at a number of targets including the Samarkand, Jericho, White Violet, and Tashkent deposits.  Interim results for three of the four targets are now available following portable XRF determination. The White Violet deposit stole the show with very strong results, including 27 metres of 0.32pc tungsten oxide from 71 metres. Copper was also found from a number of holes, particularly on the White Violet deposit including 16 metres at 0.43pc copper from 43 metres.

    This interview was recorded on 1st May 2019.

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

    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 Systems Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not own a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    Catalyst Information Systems 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 Systems 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.

    All opinions expressed are those of MiningMaven and the respective guests, unless otherwise stated and should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation to buy shares in any featured Company. From time to time MiningMaven principals may take equity positions in companies featured. Listeners are advised to do their own extensive research before buying shares which, as with all small cap exploration stocks, should be viewed as high risk. Investors should also seek the advice of a qualified investment adviser or stockbroker as they deem appropriate. MiningMaven.com is a trading division of Catalyst Information Services Limited. Registered in England no. 06537074 (Registered Office Address 3rd Floor Ivy Mill, Crown Street, Manchester, M35 9BG) #gold #mining #investing

     

  • Today’s guest on the MiningMaven podcast is Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi, director of Forum Energy Metals (TSX-V:FMC). Traditionally a uranium play, Forum has added copper and cobalt interests to its portfolio of assets. Last Thursday, the company announced very exciting news regarding its Janice Lake Copper project. Forum has secured an earn-in agreement with one of the largest Tier 1 mining companies in the world, Rio Tint -  a deal potentially worth $30m.

    This interview was recorded on 14th May 2019.

    All opinions expressed are those of MiningMaven and the respective guests, unless otherwise stated and should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation to buy shares in any featured Company. From time to time MiningMaven principals may take equity positions in companies featured. Listeners are advised to do their own extensive research before buying shares which, as with all small-cap exploration stocks, should be viewed as high risk. Investors should also seek the advice of a qualified investment adviser or stockbroker as they deem appropriate. MiningMaven.com is a trading division of Catalyst Information Services Limited. Registered in England no. 06537074 (Registered Office Address 3rd Floor Ivy Mill, Crown Street, Manchester, M35 9BG) #gold #mining #investing

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

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

    The Author has been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

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

    Catalyst Information Systems Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Systems 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.

     

  • MOD Resources (LSE:MOD), already listed on the Australian ASX market joins the London Stock Exchange this morning. The copper exploration and development company joins the standard list of the Main Market with a Market Cap of around £62m at a share price of 25p.

  • Both MOD Resources (LSE:MOD) and Metal Tiger (LSE:MTR) were trading up on Tuesday following strong infill drilling results from the T3 copper project.

    So far, assay results have been received for 11 holes at the site, based in Botswana’s Kalahari Copper Belt and 100opc owned by MOD. These form part 60-hole programme that began in T3’s proposed open pit in January with the aim of upgrading early production into the high-confidence measured resource categories.

    Many strong intersections have been recorded, including one within hole MO-G-188D of 31.5m at 2pc copper from 85.6m downhole including 10m at 4.7pc copper from 105m downhole. Meanwhile, another hole called MO-G-192D intersected 33m at 2pc copper including 16m at 3.3pc copper from 99m.

    MOD was trading up 2.7pc to 19p on the news as at writing. Managing director Julian Hanna said the initial results demonstrate the high-grade nature of the veins within the T3 open pit.

    ‘The initial results published today from the T3 infill drilling program are very strong. They continue to support and validate the accuracy of the resource model while also identifying significant new copper intercepts within the early stages of the planned open pit,’ he added. ‘These wide, high-grade intersections are increasing our confidence in the quality and continuity of the resource. In addition, they provide encouragement of the potential to increase the current open pit resource.’

    All-in-all, MOD has so far drilled 25 of the 60 holes, utilising up to three drill rigs. It expects to complete the remaining 35 infill drill holes by the end of H1 2019, ahead of both the proposed T3 open pit ore reserve and feasibility.

    MOD said the latter remains on track for completion by the end of March 2019. A pre-feasibility study on the project gave it a base case NPV of $281m and only weeks after a resource upgrade gave it a total mineral resource estimate of 590Kt copper and 27Moz silver.

    Metal Tiger, which sold off its position in T3 last year but retained exposure through its 10.5pc stake in MOD, also rose on the news, advancing 3.9pc to 1.35p. The jump came despite a separate RNS showing that the company’s cornerstone investors Sprott had reduced its stake slightly from 13.7pc to 12.9pc.

    On the infill drilling results, chief executive Michael McNeilly said: We are pleased to report the significant infill drilling intersections from MOD’s T3 project in Botswana. The infill drilling programme is expected to allow a significant portion of the Mineral Resource to be categorised as Measured, with these initial results also providing the prospect of increasing the current open pit resource.

    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.

  • This morning, MOD Resources: (LSE:MOD) and Metal Tiger (LSE:MTR) released an update on drilling at A4 Dome in the central Kalahari Copper Belt in Botswana. The A4 Dome forms part of the T3 Expansion Project in which MOD holds a 70% working interest alongside joint venture partner, Metal Tiger.

    MOD stated the initial phase of drilling is supportive of the company’s strategy to define additional sources of ore within the T3 Expansion Project which could result in increased production through the planned T3 processing plant.

    To date only one-third of the approximately 5km long prospective area has been tested which lies only 8km from MOD’s 60Mt T3 Copper Project. Drill hole intersections included significant widths and grades of both vein and Ngwako Pan Formation (NPF) contact type mineralization.

    Independent underground mining consultants, Entech Pty Ltd, have undertaken a preliminary, conceptual underground mining study of the A4 Dome using inputs from one of Australia’s leading underground mining service providers, Barminco, a subsidiary of AusDrill. The study gives positive outcomes for a combination of room-and-pillar ore extraction of higher-grade contact mineralisation and long hole open stoping mining of the NPF contact related mineralization via a decline from surface. 

    The NPF contact is an important regional target in the Kalahari Copper Belt as it hosts substantial deposits including the 100Mt @ 2% Cu 'Zone 5' resources held by Cupric Canyon Capital, around 125km east of A4 Dome.

    MOD's Managing Director, Julian Hanna, said: "Recent drilling results from the A4 Dome, combined with the preliminary conceptual underground mining study, provide strong support to expand drilling along the dome and start developing it into a resource. If results continue to be positive, the A4 Dome has potential to provide substantial additional ore sources, which may lead to an increase in production levels through the proposed T3 process plant, only 8km from the A4 Dome."

    "While the feasibility study for the T3 Copper Project is nearing completion, and represents a robust, long-life, stand-alone mining opportunity for the Company, the nearby A4 Dome keeps delivering good results. The large scale of the A4 Dome, and the potential to utilise capital and infrastructure planned at T3, has allowed us to consider modern, highly efficient underground mining techniques as a realistic option for A4 Dome."

    A decision to progress the A4 Dome programme towards a potential mineral resource estimate is expected to be made early 2019.

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

    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

     

     

     

  • MOD Resources (LSE:MOD) soared 57.3pc to 22.5p yesterday after revealing an unsolicited takeover bid from a major copper miner. The ASX-listed resources firm, which dual listed in London last November, received the proposal from fellow Australian business Sandfire Resources. MOD’s largest shareholder Metal Tiger (LSE:MTR) also rose 27pc to 1.6p on the news.

    Sandfire offered to acquire 100pc of MOD’s shares at $0.38 each, valuing the firm at $113m. However, MOD said it believed the indicative proposal undervalued its assets. Despite this, it said it would be ‘willing to engage’ with Sandfire if it presents a more compelling price.

    MOD is the owner of the 60Mt T3 copper project in the centre of Botswana’s highly prospective Kalahari Copper Belt (KCB). The company is progressing a feasibility study for the project, which it expects to release by the end of Q1 2019. This is expected to help it reach a decision to mine within the first half of the year.

    The firm believes that its flagship asset presents the potential for a long-life, high-margin, open-pit copper mine with significant exploration upside. Indeed, based on its pre-feasibility study, the asset has an NPV (pre-tax) of $370m under the base case and $529m under the expansion case.

    In yesterday’s update, MOD gave many reasons for considering Sandfire’s initial offer insufficient.

    First-of-all, the company highlighted its dominant position in the KCB, which comes in at around 11,700km2 in granted licences. It called the area ‘one of the last under-explored sediment-hosted copper belts’, adding that exploration results have already indicated the potential for additional copper mineralisation.

    Elsewhere, the business pointed to T3’s prospectivity. It said it expects the project to produce a high-grade, high-quality concentrate that will attract keen interest from metal traders and smelter. It also claimed to have confidence in a range of alternative funding options for progressing T3 to production following third-party discussions.

    Finally, MOD pointed to the fact that its share price and the MOD/SFR exchange ratio are at a 2.5-year low. Extending this point, it highlighted its most recent $0.47 per share placing price.

    Managing director Julian Hanna said the proposal confirms the potential of the T3 Copper Project. However, he said ‘significantly undervalues’ the company’s assets.

    Elsewhere in Monday’s update, MOD announced that it had carried out a $10m placement with institutional and sophisticated issued. It issued the shares at $0.30 each, a 36pc premium to its last closing share price on ASX. It will now follow the placing with a rights issue to raise c.$5m from eligible shareholders. This will be priced at $0.24 per share.

    MOD said the funds would be used to complete a 2019 capital works programme. This will see it progress T3, purchase a farm on which the T3 open pit is based, complete underground mining studies, and carry out follow-up exploration work. It will also fund infill drilling to upgrade part of the early stages of T3 mine production to a JORC compliant Measured Resource category. Finally, MOD said the money would enable it to progress negotiations with numerous parties around funding T3’s future development.

    Hanna added: ‘Funding from this capital raise will enable the Company to progress the T3 Copper Project towards a development decision and conduct further drilling for additional resources. With strong ongoing support of our shareholders through a placement and a fully underwritten rights issue, we believe that the Company will have sufficient working capital to achieve our objectives.’

    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

  • Phoenix Global Mining (LSE:PGM) dipped to 30.2p this morning despite recent exploration work indicating a ‘district style’ opportunity at its flagship Empire copper mine in the US.

    The firm, which was down 7.2pc as at writing, said it has proven mineralisation along a 3.5km strike within its expanded Empire Mine land position, which now totals 1,837 acres. As a result of the findings, Phoenix will now fast-track further exploration work, with chief executive Dennis Thomas claiming the results suggest a ‘district style’ opportunity:

  • In today’s podcast we talk with Burns Singh Tennent-Bhohi who has just been appointed a director of Canadian-listed Forum Energy Metals (TSX-V:FMC). Historically the company has been focused on its Uranium assets but last year Forum made two acquisitions, one copper project, the other cobalt. Tennent-Bhohi explains the company’s strategy of diversifying into the battery metals space while sentiment in the uranium market gradually turns favourable. Tennent-Bhohi also discusses the increasing awareness of the Canadian TSX venture exchange by UK investors.

    This interview was recorded on 21st February 2019.

    All opinions expressed are those of MiningMaven and the respective guests, unless otherwise stated and should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation to buy shares in any featured Company. From time to time MiningMaven principals may take equity positions in companies featured. Listeners are advised to do their own extensive research before buying shares which, as with all small cap exploration stocks, should be viewed as high risk. Investors should also seek the advice of a qualified investment adviser or stockbroker as they deem appropriate. MiningMaven.com is a trading division of Catalyst Information Services Limited. Registered in England no. 06537074 (Registered Office Address 3rd Floor Ivy Mill, Crown Street, Manchester, M35 9BG)

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

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

    The Author has 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 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.

     

  • In today’s podcast Mick Billing, Executive Chairman of Thor Mining (LSE:THR), explains why the company is creating a new vehicle called Enviro Copper Limited and gives an overview of its two copper projects, Kapunda and Moonta. Mick also discusses the potential use of In-Situ Recovery (ISR) techniques at the projects, gives his outlook on the copper market, and provides an update on finance and off-take discussions for Thor’s Molyhil Tungsten Project.

    This interview was recorded on 6th March 2019.

    All opinions expressed are those of MiningMaven and the respective guests, unless otherwise stated and should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation to buy shares in any featured Company. From time to time MiningMaven principals may take equity positions in companies featured. Listeners are advised to do their own extensive research before buying shares which, as with all small cap exploration stocks, should be viewed as high risk. Investors should also seek the advice of a qualified investment adviser or stockbroker as they deem appropriate. MiningMaven.com is a trading division of Catalyst Information Services Limited. Registered in England no. 06537074 (Registered Office Address 3rd Floor Ivy Mill, Crown Street, Manchester, M35 9BG) #gold #mining #investing

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

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

    Catalyst Information Systems 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 Systems 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.

     

  • On Thursday, Rockfire Resources (LSE:ROCK) announced it has exercised its option to acquire the Copper Dome Porphyry Copper Deposit in central Queensland from Symbolic Resources. The deposit is just 50km to the southwest of another of the firm’s interests, Copperhead, and the plan is to develop both projects simultaneously.

    The acquisition follows by Rockfire earlier this year. The explorer carried out a programme of soil sampling, rock sampling and structural and geological mapping. On Tuesday, Rockfire said that soil sampling at Copper Dome had returned strongly anomalous results of up to 0.1pc copper. The copper anomaly has been extended south from the previous Rockfire survey by 500m and the anomaly remains open towards the east and west. The firm found copper-in-soil is strongest at the margins of the mapped porphyries. Summing up the exploration, David Price, Chief Executive Officer of Rockfire said:

    This exploration has returned very high-grade copper-in-rock samples, medium level copper-in-soil values and low-level gold-in-soil assays. Importantly, this work has resulted in the delineation of clear geochemical targets."

    The plan now is to develop the Copper Dome and Copperhead projects ‘with the aim of outlining very large tonnage copper resources."Price adds.

    Copperhead, located close to the central Queensland coast, lies within a belt of porphyry copper deposits. Five diamond drill holes, drilled by previous explorer Carpentaria revealed chalcopyrite and pyrite throughout each hole, two of which were 300m deep indicating a potentially large target.

    In consideration for Copper Dome, Rockfire will pay Symbolic A$30k in cash and issue 3,720,454 shares with an equivalent value of A$50k.

    David Price, commented; 

    "Our management team is encouraged by the confirmatory work done by the Rockfire exploration team as part of our technical due diligence on Copper Dome. With coherent copper occurring around the rim of a mapped porphyry, as well as gold occupying the boundaries of two close-spaced porphyries, the geological setting shows excellent signs for gold and copper mineralisation."

    "Now that Rockfire owns Copper Dome, your company is in a unique position of controlling two potentially large-scale porphyry copper projects in its portfolio, both of which are considered worthy of inclusion in the Porphyry Copper Assessment published by the US Geological Survey. The Company's intention is to expand our exploration into geophysics, including ground magnetics and gradient array IP. These two geophysical techniques are expected to identify clear targets in and around the geochemical anomalies, which will lead towards drilling." 

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

    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



     

  • Gold explorer SolGold (LSE:SOLG) says it is ‘surprised and disappointed’ by Cornerstone’s (TSX:CGP) swift dismissive response to its stated intention to bid for the company.  In an announcement made on Friday, the firm highlighted that Cornerstone had lodged its response less than three hours after the approach, raising questions on how well the potential offer had been considered. 

    SolGold owns an 85pc interest in Exploraciones Novomining S.A. (ENSA) an Ecuadorean company that in turn owns 100pc of the Cascabel Project. The project is located in the prolific Andean Copper belt of Northern Ecuador and Cornerstone also owns a 15pc interest via shares in ENSA.

    On 31 january, SolGold proposed the conversion of each Cornerstone share into 0.55 of a SolGold share, equating to an immediate 20pc premium for current holders.  SolGold believes the consolidatory move would significantly benefit Cornerstone shareholders, in particular, removing the ‘funding challenges’ the company will face in relation to the development of Cascabel. Current Cornerstone shareholders would also benefit from exposure to SolGold’s other assets across Ecuador and beyond.

    In today’s response, SolGold raised a number of questions and notes ‘the apparent lack of consideration’ of the potential by Cornerstone’s board. The company goes on to say it ‘believes that all Cornerstone shareholders and warrant holders should be given the opportunity to make an informed decision”and that ‘an independent review should be conducted by the Cornerstone Board, properly advised by an independent committee thereof, before making public statements about the proposed offer.’

    The share price of Cornerstone has risen in response to the offer, which SolGold suggests is indicative of a market understanding the benefits of such a bid. SolGold intends to proceed with its offer.

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

    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

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • On Wednesday SolGold (LSE:SOLG) updated the market with details of exploration activities from its 100% owned Porvenir Project in southern Ecuador. Over the past five years, Ecuador has been recognised globally as a frontrunner in emerging mining nations. SolGold is the largest and most active concession holder in the country and is aggressively exploring the length and breadth of a highly prospective and gold-rich section of the Andean Copper Belt. The Australian company has formed four 100% owned subsidiary companies in Ecuador; Carnegie Ridge Resources S.A., Green Rock Resources S.A., Cruz del Sol S.A. and Valle Rico Resources S.A. The subsidiaries currently hold 73 mineral concessions over approximately 3,200km2 in Ecuador.

    To date exploration activity has identified 15 potential porphyry centres at SolGold’s flagship copper-gold deposit, the Cascabel Project. SolGold published its maiden Mineral Reserve Estimate for Alpala, the main target in the Cascabel concession in January 2018. Alpala has produced some of the greatest drill hole intercepts in porphyry copper-gold exploration history.  Over 145,000m of diamond drilling has been completed on the project and SolGold currently produces around 10,000m of core every month.

    The plan is to apply the exploration blueprint developed at Cascabel to the Porvenir Project in southern Ecuador and elsewhere.

    Location plan showing the Porvenir project in southern Ecuador

    The company reports the discovery of ‘exciting’ new porphyry copper-gold mineralisation at Target 15, located on the Porvenir 2 concession. A broad zone of north east trending porphyry mineralisation approximately 1km wide and hosting numerous porphyry centres currently defined over 6 km long and open ended has been defined. This includes a 800m-wide mineralised corridor more than 1200m long recognised at Target 15 consistent with exposure of a vertically extensive, well-preserved porphyry copper-gold system.

    Rock saw channel sampling copper and gold results from La Cacharposa creek in Target 15 at Porvenir

    SolGold CEO, Nick Mather commented, "The result at Porvenir especially at Target 15, indicates the effort SolGold puts into its first mover advantage secured in 2014 across Ecuador. SolGold's team of geoscientists led by Dr. Steve Garwin, porphyry expert, recognised several targets with the right geochemical, geological and geophysical signature and SolGold has so far secured 11 of them. SolGold is committed to leading the development of a sustainable copper-gold mining industry in Ecuador. The high grades and strong gold endowment at Alpala and Porvenir provides SolGold with a unique opportunity to develop this Company without resorting to dilutive and erosive joint ventures. 

    SolGold has identified and secured the best of an entire copper-gold province, the size and metallogenic signature of northern Chile. That's a unique approach that can't be replicated. We are confident that Alpala and now Porvenir Target 15 are the first projects in a long, large and rich string of them. We have the cash, the expertise and the focus to deliver"

     

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

    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

     

     

     

  • Strategic Minerals (LSE:SML) rose 2.4pc on Monday morning after revealing promising copper mineralisation in the latest round of assay results at its Leigh Creek project.

    Eight out of 10 holes drilled at a site called Paltridge North within the South Australia-based project last August intersected significant copper mineralisation including malachite, azurite, chalcocite and native copper. Six of the latest holes had an intersection of 1.34pc, which is significantly higher than the resource average of 0.81pc.

    Paltridge North deposit is a relatively flat tabular deposit hosted in fine-grained siltstone. Mineralisation has varied from predominantly copper oxide minerals, malachite and azurite, in the upper levels of the deposit. This grades into a relatively sharp contact where the copper minerals are mostly chalcocite with some minor native copper observed in the drill core.

    The company carried out its infill diamond drill programme with the aim of providing metallurgical test samples and testing historical drilling. Strategic said its results reinforce a previous resource model estimate and highlight areas of higher-grade copper, including 1m at 8.7pc.

    A previous JORC resource gave Leigh Creek a JORC Resource of 3.6Mt at 0.7pc copper, with contained copper of 24.9Kt, at Paltridge North alongside two other deposits called Lynda and Lorna Doone. The firm is now producing an updated resource model that will incorporate these results. It expects this to complete in March 2019. 

    Meanwhile, Stragic also completed seven diamond drill holes at another Leigh Creek site Rosmann East. Here, Strategic has defined a mineral inventory of 1.8Mt at 0.65pc copper, with contained copper of 11.5kt. The holes tested below the existing pit floor at the site and have so far provided strong support for continued mineralisation.

    Strategic says this continued to as much as 60m below the existing pit floor and 30m below previous drilling, with its first hole returning 69m at 0.37pc copper. Results for the other holes, which have targeted known areas of higher grade, will be released when available, the business said.

    Managing director John Peters said: ‘The Paltridge North deposit assays, arising from the first diamond drilling programme for 32 years, have delivered better than expected results and provide the SML Board confidence that Paltridge North could be a significant copper producer in the near future.

    ‘Additionally, the assays from the first hole at the Rosmann East deposit support potential additional mineralisation below the existing open pit floor. This is good news due to the ease of accessibility to this ore. Management and the Board look forward to restarting the Mountain of Light operations in the first half of 2019 and moving into long term, higher volume production at a later date.’

    Author: Daniel Flynn

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

    Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not own 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 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.

  • Canadian cobalt developer Global Energy Metals (TSX-V:GEMC) revealed that it has increased the size of its recently-announced $500,000 private fundraise by $250,000 on Wednesday in response to high demand. On Friday, the firm - which is raising the money to support a phase one exploration programme at its two projects near Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada - said it will now issue 16,270,000 units to raise a total of $813,500 in the oversubscribed placing.

    Each unit distributed in the non-brokered, private placement will comprise one $0.05 share and one three-year warrant exercisable at $0.10. Upon first announcing the raise last week, Global Energy said it had also approved the settlement of up to $181,500 of debt by issuing shares at $0.05 each to certain creditors.

    The company, which announced plans to co-list in London earlier this year, will use its placing proceeds to advance its Lovelock and Treasure Box projects ‘immediately’. The two properties are located in Churchill County, around 150km east of the Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada.  Lovelock covers around 1,400 acres and is said to have produced 500ts of cobalt and nickel mineralisation between 1883 and 1890 when it was last in operation. Global Energy believes exploration work and modern drilling techniques could unlock a large amount of potential value at the site.

    Treasure Box, meanwhile, is adjacent to Lovelock and hosts mine workings from limited copper production, which occurred until early into the 20th century. A historical diamond drill hole at the asset reportedly intersected 1.52pc copper over 85ft, with mineralisation beginning at surface.

    Nevada progress

    Last month, Global Energy announced that it had made its first option payment towards acquiring an 85pc stake in both Lovelock and Treasure Box. It issued 384,627 of its shares to the projects’ current owner Nevada Sunrise and paid $20,000 to the underlying vendor.

    Speaking to MiningMaven in February, Global Energy’s chief executive Mitchell Smith said the acquisition gives the business a low-cost entry to an exciting jurisdiction close to the world’s largest battery factory:

    ‘Some of the grades at these sites are exceptional. Historically, grades were reported as high as 14-15pc cobalt, which is just unheard of. It shows there is a real opportunity in this significant land package covering two past producing mines. Given our proximity to Tesla, this could really provide us with unique access to the growing demand for domestic cobalt supply in the US.’

    In its March update, Global Energy also said it is reviewing exploration plans for Lovelock and Treasure Box. It said its first-stage exploration programme would assist it with an ongoing, extensive review and reinterpretation of historical data at both sites.

    ‘There has been a tremendous amount of attention placed on the US for it to stop being merely a bystander in the global battery arms race and start developing more domestic supplies of battery metals such as cobalt, nickel and copper to supply its homegrown battery factories, including Nevada-based Gigafactory 1,’ said Smith. ‘The Lovelock and Treasure Box projects are prime examples of US-based battery metal projects that are very prospective and strategically located in close proximity to a domestic end-user with a large appetite for the critical materials used in EV and energy storage technology.’

    Global Energy focuses on offering security of supply of cobalt, which is a critical material in the rapidly growing rechargeable battery market. It is building a diversified global portfolio of assets in the sector, including project stakes, projects and other supply sources.

    The business’s flagship asset is the Millennium Project in the world-renowned Mt. Isa region of Queensland, Australia. It executed the final agreements to take a 100pc interest in the project in November.

    Millennium is a multi-zone, near-surface cobalt-copper sulphide system with several kilometres of potential strike length. It is located near established mining, transport, and processing infrastructure and offers easy access to a very skilled workforce.

    The growth-stage site contains a defined zone of cobalt-copper mineralisation.  Here, a 2016 JORC Resource estimate identified 3.1MMts of inferred resources containing 0.14pc cobalt and 0.34pc copper with gold credits.

    Global Energy is now looking at ways to increase the size of its deposit. Results from a first phase exploration campaign at two zones called Millennium North and Millennium South exceeded grade and thickness expectations. The firm will now carry out a second phase of drilling to examine both areas further.

    Alongside Millennium, Global Energy has acquired two further discovery sites called Mt. Dorothy and Cobalt Ridge.  These are collectively known as the ‘Mt. Isa projects’. The areas expand Global Energy’s Australian land position by nearly twenty times but have yet to be exploited. Exploration to date has returned high-grade cobalt intercepts at both, allowing Global Energy to line up numerous targets for further investigation and test work to define a resource.

    Finally, the business currently owns 70pc of the Werner Lake cobalt mine in Ontario Canada. It joint venture partner Marquee Resources is enjoying much success in its ongoing exploration campaign at the asset.

    Author: Daniel Flynn

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

    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 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) announced today that proof of concept has been established for In-situ Recovery of copper at the Kapunda Copper Project. The company has the right to earn-in to a 45% effective interest in the project which is located 90km north of Adelaide in South Australia. In February, Thor announced a maiden resource estimate in partnership with Environmental Copper Recovery SA Pty Ltd and Terramin Pty Ltd (ASX: TZN), suggesting the site has an inferred JORC compliant resource of 119,000 tonnes of copper amenable to In-situ Recovery techniques.

    In-situ Recovery (ISR) or solution mining has a lower environmental footprint than conventional mining with little visual impact and minimal infrastructure required.

    The process accelerates what is naturally happening within the bedrock and water table and until recent advances in technology, had limited applications in mineral extraction. It’s now possible to apply the ISR method of extraction to copper and gold resources that were previously un-minable. During the process, a benign solution is pumped into bores drilled into the ore body to dissolve the copper. The copper containing solution is then pumped to a recovery plant to extract the metal from the liquid.

    The In-situ Recovery (ISR) process

    source: www.envirocopper.com.au

    Kapunda is suitable for ISR since it is a shallow resource and the area has a high water table. Thor says it has completed water sampling and the initial hydrogeological assessment is positive. Computer modelling suggests that flow through the ore body is possible and the geology is amenable for ISR. 

    As reported in July, The Australian Government Ministry for Science, Jobs and Innovation has offered Environmental Copper Recovery SA Pty Ltd research funding of A$2,851,303, over a 30 month period to demonstrate the In-Situ Recovery (ISR) process at Kapunda.

     Mick Billing, Executive Chairman, commented:

    "The proof of concept stage has been successful in demonstrating that, from both a technical and social viewpoint, we should proceed to the next stage of work. This next stage (stage 2) will include: relevant approval processes, pump and environmental testing, and will incorporate a field recovery trial to generate solution and test a variety of metal recovery options."  

    "The successful completion of these stages was complemented by the receipt of a (CRC-P) Commonwealth Research Program Grant for A$2.85 million for the Kapunda Copper ISR project, further supporting this exciting initiative of an economically and environmentally sustainable mining future technique."

    "We look forward to providing further information on this exciting project, and each of our other projects at Molyhil (including Bonya), and Pilot Mountain in the coming weeks."

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

    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) inched up 1.8pc to 0.8p on Tuesday morning after announcing the successful recovery of gold from its Kapunda copper project. In what was described as an ‘unexpected bonus’ by executive chairman Mick Billing, Thor said the precious metal was recovered from historical drilling samples at the South Australia-based asset.

    The actual percentage recovery of gold extracted could not be determined accurately in this round of work. However, Thor said the concentrations of the metal in solution indicates that gold extraction does occur at Kapunda. The firm will now carry out further test work to quantify gold recovery, with results for 28 historical surface and drill core samples reportedly boasting grades of between 0.93g/t to 8.58g/t.

    Critically, Thor said the results demonstrate proof of concept at Kapunda using techniques appropriate for in situ recovery (ISR) test work. It added that this enhances its successful recovery of copper using ISR appropriate test work at the project in December.

    ISR or solution mining has a lower environmental footprint than conventional mining with little visual impact and minimal infrastructure required. The process accelerates what is naturally happening within the bedrock and water table and, until recent advances in technology, had limited applications in mineral extraction.  

    It is now possible to apply the ISR method of extraction to copper and gold resources that were previously un-minable. During the process, a benign solution is pumped into bores drilled into the ore body to dissolve the copper. The copper-containing solution is then pumped to a recovery plant to extract the metal from the liquid.

    The In-situ Recovery (ISR) process

    Kapunda, which is based around 90km from Adelaide, is suitable for ISR since it is a shallow resource found in an area with a high water table. The asset is primarily a copper project, with an inferred JORC resource estimate of 47.4MMts grading 0.25pc of the metal. This is equal to 119,000ts of contained copper considered amenable to ISR techniques.

    Thor currently has exposure to the project through its agreement to earn up to 60pc of a private Australian business called Environmental Copper Recovery (ECR). ECR has, in turn, entered a deal with Terramin Australia to earn, in two stages, up to 75pc of the rights over metals that may be recovered at Kapunda. Last month, Thor announced plans to merge ECR with another business called Environmental Metals Recovery to form a new company called EnviroCopper.

    In Tuesday’s update, Billing said there is not yet sufficient drilling assay information to allow a gold resource to be added to Kapunda’s previously-published copper resource. However, he said that its latest results could potentially represent a ‘very significant project enhancement’.

    ‘The information we have suggests the presence of gold relatively evenly across much of the Kapunda deposit,’ he added. ‘The directors of ECR and the directors of Thor are reviewing options in light of this new and potentially strategically critical information, and will provide further updates in the near term.’

    Busy period

    Tuesday’s news comes at a busy time for Thor. Towards the end of last month, the company announced plans to expand its operational portfolio through two acquisitions. The business is looking to acquire Pilbara Goldfields and Hammersley Metals, which collectively hold interests in two granted licences and seven licence applications at various stages of advancement. These assets are prospective for gold and uranium and cover a total of 764km2 in the Pilbara region of Western Australia and the Northern Territory of Australia.

    Thor said it has chosen to pursue the opportunities – which will cost it around £450,000 - because much of its portfolio is beginning to reach the crystallisation stage. Indeed, alongside the divestment of Kapunda, the business has advanced its 100pc-owned Molyhil tungsten and molybdenum project to mine construction-ready status. It is currently in a commercialisation process to secure project-level finance for the mine construction phase.

    Once these two transactions have completed, Thor said its exploration interests will be limited to its 40pc-owned Bonya tungsten, copper, and vanadium project. As such, Billing said the new firms will give Thor access to a new round of exploration opportunities in Australia.

    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.

  • Thor Mining (LSE:THR) sat at 0.7p on Tuesday morning after revealing high-grade tungsten and copper intersections from drilling on the Samarkand deposit at its part-owned Bonya asset in Australia.

    Thor owns a 40pc stake in Bonya, which is adjacent to its 100pc-owned, advanced Molyhil tungsten project in the Northern Territory of Australia. Bonya contains 13 outcropping tungsten deposits plus a copper resource, which Thor expects to add considerably to the life, scale, and economic outcomes of its proposed Molyhil operation.

    Despite being part of a known tungsten province, no drilling has taken place at the Bonya licence area since the seventies. This changed last month when Thor - alongside its 60pc partner Arafura Resources - began a 2,500m RC drilling program after receiving approval in March from the Northern Territory Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority.

    The drilling focuses on five targets called Samarkand, Jericho, White Violet, Tashkent, and Marrakesh, all of which have outcropping tungsten at surface. This ensures that drilling is into, or below, previously-known mineralisation.

    In Tuesday’s update, Thor revealed that drilling on Samarkand had intersected strong grades for both tungsten and copper. On the tungsten side, this includes 15m at 0.44pc tungsten trioxide from 19 metres and 11m at 0.61pc tungsten trioxide from 64m. Elsewhere, drill holes encountered 12m at 0.69pc copper from 22m and 6m at 0.97pc copper from 38m.

    On the results, Thor’s executive chairman Mick Billing said: ‘More very good XRF tungsten results along with exciting copper readings from the Samarkand deposit at Bonya. The proposed Molyhil processing facility is designed to extract copper as well as tungsten and molybdenum so any primary copper at Bonya can be extracted at minimal additional cost. We look forward to the full laboratory assays from this drill program, along with results from the trench sampling from Marrakech and Tashkent, all expected during May.’

    Monday’s results come just a week after Thor released the first set of interim results from its Bonya drilling programme, which it described as ‘substantially better than expectations’. Highlights included 27m at 0.32pc tungsten trioxide from 71m and 16m at 0.43pc copper from 43m at a hole on White Violet. Meanwhile, a hole at Tashkent delivered 2m at 0.43pc tungsten trioxide from 16m.

    Alongside its work at Bonya, Thor has also been busy delivering progress in other areas of its portfolio. For example, in April it announced the commissioning of a resource estimate at its part-held Moonta copper project in South Australia. Moonta stakeholder Enviro Copper has engaged a mining consultancy called Mining Plus to prepare the forecast for several Moonta deposits considered amenable to in-situ recovery (ISR). Numerous drill holes made over several decades will provide the basis for this resource estimation.

    Based in Adelaide, Moonta 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. The site is thought to contain an ISR amenable exploration target of between 238Mt and 310Mt at a grade range of 0.18pc-0.23pc copper.

    Enviro Copper is earning up to a 75pc interest in Moonta from ASX-listed Andromeda Metals. As part of an agreement announced in March, Thor can earn up to a 30pc stake in Enviro Copper before listing activities. These are ‘potentially scheduled’ for later this year, according to last month’s update.

    Last month’s deal also saw Thor transfer its interest into the Adelaide-based Kapunda copper project into Enviro. Kapunda hosts an in-situ recovery (ISR) amenable inferred mineral resource estimate of 119,000ts of contained copper.

    Thor held 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 relinquished its interest in ECR in exchange for a 25pc, pre-listing, stake 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.

    Thor said the new combined Enviro 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.

    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

  • Thor Mining (LSE:THR) was sitting at 1p on Friday morning after re-iterating the substantial progress made across its portfolio in H2 2018.

    During the period, the firm completed an upgraded definitive feasibility study at its Molyhil tungsten and molybdenum project in Australia. This gave the site an NPV(5) of A$101m, an internal rate of return of 59pc, an EBITDA of A$239m and a payback period of around 18 months.

    Last month, Thor said these attractive figures have already attracted the interest of various potential partners. It hopes to finalise an acceptable financing arrangement for the project with the help of Argent Partners over the near term.

    Elsewhere, H2 2018 saw Thor complete its acquisition of an interest in the Bonya tenements, which are located near Molyhil. These contain 13 outcropping tungsten deposits, plus the small Bonya copper resource, providing significant potential to extend the profitable life of the proposed Molyhil operation. Thor has previously said that it expects to get drilling approval at Bonya over the coming quarter.

    Meanwhile, the period covered by the results also saw Thor release a scoping study for its Pilot Mountain tungsten project in the US. This indicated the potential for a profitable 12-year mine life, while a revised mineral resource estimate boosted tungsten resources, and included zinc for the first time. Thor now plans to carry out the second stage of metallurgical test work and environmental and infrastructure studies at the site.

    Finally, the business plans to prepare the Kapunda copper project in Australia for field pump testing in the current quarter. This comes after it demonstrated proof of concept for in situ recovery at the site last year.

    Elsewhere in Thursday’s results, Thor revealed a bullish outlook for metal prices. It said that, although tungsten pricing fell by around 20pc early in H2 2018 to settle at between $260/mtu and $270mtu, Molyhil remains ‘very well positioned’ thanks to production costs of just 490/mtu. This places the project in the first quartile of global production costs.

    Speaking to MiningMaven last month, Thor’s executive chairman Mick Billing said industry dynamics could see Tungsten prices rise from their current level:

    ‘China, the dominant global supplier, has withdrawn production licences from a number of producers for environmental reasons, and reports suggest that they have issued no new production licences for a couple of years. While a number of projects elsewhere are in development and hopeful producers, like Thor, are poised to commence development, it is unlikely that these new developments will meet the expected growth in demand.’

    Meanwhile, Thor said that molybdenum pricing has maintained gains made in early 2018 and continues to sit in the $11-12/lb range.

    Finally, the business revealed a cash balance of £1.11m as of 31 December. It said this figure was bolstered by the exercise of 52,699,789 warrants and options, at various exercise prices, raising £625,623 at an average conversion price of 1.19 pence.

    In Thor’s update for Q4 2018, issued last month, Billing said: ‘A positive quarter with progress on all core projects, and a strengthened cash position. The appointment of corporate advisors to support and guide our efforts towards off-take & financing for Molyhil is a strategy we believe will improve our prospects of securing the best arrangement possible for our shareholders. A number of potential scenarios are possible with various interested parties, and we hope to be in a position to advise progress shortly. Additionally, the potential of nearby Bonya tenements, hosting tungsten, copper, and vanadium, provides potential upside for Molyhil, and also for other stand-alone development opportunities.’

    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.

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  • On Tuesday, Thor Mining (LSE:THR) announced expectation-beating drilling results from the Bonya tungsten deposits in Australia. The drilling campaign consisted of around 2,500 metres of Reverse Circulation (RC) drilling at a number of targets including the Samarkand, Jericho, White Violet, and Tashkent deposits. Interim results for three of the four targets are now available following portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) determination. The White Violet deposit stole the show with very strong results, including 27 metres of 0.32pc tungsten oxide from 71 metres. Copper was also found from a number of holes, particularly on the White Violet deposit including 16 metres at 0.43pc copper from 43 metres.

    Thor holds a 40pc interest in Bonya via a joint venture with ASX-listed Arafura Resources (ASX:ARU). The deposits lie around 30km east of its 100pc owned Molyhil tungsten project which Thor is developing towards commercial production. The firm completed an updated Definitive Feasibility Study for the project back in August and is now focused on securing project finance to bring Molyhil into production. Thor has been in advanced discussions with a number of potential partners regarding potential off-take, joint venture and debt financing arrangements.

     Bonya Exploration Targets

     

    Meanwhile, Thor continues to progress its 100pc owned Pilot Mountain tungsten project ideally located in Nevada, USA. The firm believes the resource is ‘substantial on a global scale’ and with the US Department of the Interior declaring the mineral as critical in 2018, it perhaps couldn’t be better placed. Thor is carrying out testwork to further advance the project to a pre-feasibility study standard.  Last December the company upgraded its resource estimate for the Desert Scheelite deposit. This included a 6.5pc increase in tungsten and added also added Zinc mineralisation.

    Back to Australia, and there has been plenty of recent activity concerning Thor’s copper interests; the Kapunda and Moonta projects. 

    Kapunda hosts an in-situ recovery (ISR) amenable inferred mineral resource estimate of around 119,000ts of copper. Thor holds an interest via 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.  Under a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed in March, Thor will relinquish its interest in ECR and buy a 25pc, pre-listing, interest in Enviro for AUS$0.6m and will retain the right to acquire a further 5pc seed capital interest in the vehicle for AUS$0.4m. Moonta sits within a very prolific copper mining area known as the ‘copper triangle’ in South Australia and contains an ISR amenable exploration target of  238Mt-310Mt at a grade range of 0.18pc-0.23pc copper. 

    In a separate RNS on Tuesday, Thor announced it will be holding a general meeting at 9am on 23 May at the offices of Grant Thornton UK LLP in London.

    Mick Billing, Executive Chairman, commented:

    "These are very exciting interim results, particularly from the White Violet deposit, where results are substantially better than expectations."

    "The inclusion of attractive copper interim assays from several holes also elevates the potential of the Bonya area in general, but White Violet especially."

    "We look forward to the interim results from the Samarkand drilling, and also to the full laboratory assays expected during May."

    Author: Stuart Langelaan

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  • Thor Mining (LSE:THR) enjoyed a 6pc rise to 0.8p a share on Tuesday morning after announcing the commissioning of a resource estimate at its part-held Moonta copper project in South Australia. Moonta stakeholder Enviro Copper has engaged a mining consultancy called Mining Plus to prepare the estimate for several Moonta deposits considered amenable to in-situ recovery (ISR). Numerous drill holes made over several decades will provide the basis for this resource estimation.

    Based in Adelaide, Moonta 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. The site is thought to contain an ISR amenable exploration target of between 238Mt and 310Mt at a grade range of 0.18pc-0.23pc copper.

    Enviro Copper is earning up to a 75pc interest in Moonta from ASX-listed Andromeda Metals. As part of an agreement announced last month, Thor can earn up to a 30pc stake in Enviro Copper before listing activities. These are ‘potentially scheduled’ for later this year, according to Tuesday’s update.

    Thor’s executive chairman Mick Billing called Tuesday’s development ‘very exciting’ for the firm’s copper strategy.

    ‘The non-invasive production technique of In-situ Recovery of copper has the potential to co-exist without significant disruption to farming and once completed, have little to no impact on future agricultural land use,’ he added. ‘ISR is an extension of proven technology and has been in use since the 1960's. With recent technical advances ISR can now offer a lower footprint and is likely to find further application in mineral recovery fields because it can coexist with other land use activities. The Moonta project, hosts oxide copper minerals and some secondary sulphide copper minerals in deep weathered troughs, indicating early stage potential for copper production via ISR methods.’

    Last month’s deal also saw Thor transfer its interest into the Adelaide-based Kapunda copper project into Enviro. Kapunda hosts an in-situ recovery (ISR) amenable inferred mineral resource estimate of 119,000ts of contained copper.

    Thor held 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 relinquished its interest in ECR in exchange for 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.

    Thor said the new combined Enviro 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.

    Author: Daniel Flynn

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  • 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

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  • Thor Mining (LSE:THR) announced an increased mineral resource estimate at its Pilot Mountain project in Nevada, USA on Thursday. The company owns 100% of the Tungsten project and reports a 6.5% increase in the mineral resource which also contains copper and zinc on the Desert Scheelite deposit at Pilot Mountain.

  • Thor Mining (LSE:THR) has risen from 1.6p to 2.2p this month, boosted largely by the news that it has taken on a corporate adviser to help it secure financing with interested firms at its Molyhil tungsten project in Australia. The news follows a year of strong progress at Molyhil that has seen Thor release greatly enhanced financials for the site, while also boosting its upside through a nearby acquisition and work on an underground operation.

  • Battery metal miners with US-based projects received a welcome boost last week after plans to streamline domestic regulation and permitting requirements in the sector were unveiled at a major industry conference. Speaking at a Washington-based event on Thursday hosted by Benchmark Minerals Intelligence, US Senator Lisa Murkowski said she plans to introduce the Minerals Security act alongside fellow senator Joe Manchin.

    Murkowski, who chairs the US Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee, told Reuters the act would support the development of lithium, graphite and other electric-vehicle supply chain minerals mines in the US. The directive will form part of growing efforts to curb China’s increasing dominance in the electric vehicle (EV) space.

    Although electric-focused automakers and battery manufacturers like Tesla and Volkswagen wish to expand in the US, they are currently reliant on mineral imports rather than domestic mines and processing facilities. The chief source of this supply is China, which produces nearly two-thirds of the world’s lithium-ion batteries. The US, meanwhile, manufactures just 5pc.

    Our challenge is still a failure to understand the vulnerability we are in as a nation when it comes to reliance on others for our minerals,’ Murkowski said. She added that China’s lead in the EV space – which is expected to soar over the coming decades – also gives it an edge in its ongoing trade disputes with the US.

    The US is not the only country worried about China’s dominance over the growing EV supply market, either. Indeed, France and Germany both asked the European Commission to support a €1.7bn battery cell consortium earlier this week. Also in attendance at Thursday's event was Tesla, which highlighted its concerns around a global shortage of nickel, copper, and other EV battery minerals in the future due to underinvestment.

    The combination of concerns over global supply and increasing efforts to boost the US battery metals sector is encouraging for those firms already operating projects in the sector. For example, Tim McKenna of Piedmont Lithium - which is developing a lithium project in North Carolina – said at Thursday’s event: ‘We need to focus the United States on the fact that China is way ahead of us in the electric vehicle race.’

    A potential beneficiary that we have previously covered on Mining Maven is Global Energy Metals (TSX-V:GEMC). Last month, the Canadian developer- which is planning to co-list in London- revealed that it had made a payment allowing it to begin exploration work at the two US cobalt projects it is buying in Sparks, Nevada. The properties are called Lovelock and Treasure Box and are located in Churchill County, around 150km east of Tesla’s major battery factory in Sparks.

    Lovelock covers around 1,400 acres and is said to have produced 500ts of cobalt and nickel mineralisation between 1883 and 1890 when it was last in operation. Global Energy believes exploration work and modern drilling techniques could unlock a large amount of potential value at the site. Treasure Box, meanwhile, is adjacent to Lovelock and hosts mine workings from limited copper production, which occurred until early into the 20th century. A historical diamond drill hole at the asset reportedly intersected 1.52pc copper over 85ft, with mineralisation beginning at the surface.

    Global Energy has agreed to buy an 85pc-interest in the projects from Nevada Sunrise, making its first option payment in March. In April, it raised $813,500 in an oversubscribed private placing intended to support its work programme in Nevada.

    Speaking to Mining Maven in February, Global Energy’s chief executive Mitchell Smith said the acquisition had given the business a low-cost entry to an exciting jurisdiction close to the world’s largest battery factory:

    Author: Daniel Flynn

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    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