Seabridge joins study of metals on fish

Metal pollution from mines, mills and smelters is a hotly contested issue, especially when water passing through contaminated sites leaches metals into local waterways. The issue has become a major aggravation between miners and Indigenous peoples along many Canadian lakes and rivers.

Now Seabridge Gold of Toronto and the Gitanyow Fisheries Authority (GFA) are collaborating on a project applying ‘omic’ approaches to learn more about the impact of heavy metals on aquatic ecosystems. This method will apply environmental DNA (eDNA) to the potential effects of Seabridge’s proposed KSM copper-gold mine 65 km northwest of Stewart, British Columbia.

The project is funded by Genome BC and GFA, under the leadership of Dr. Vicki Marlatt at Simon Fraser University. The team will develop and implement eDNA methods to detect the presence or absence of fish species in the Nass watershed. They will also examine the costs of using eDNA compared to traditional, labour intensive visual or fish trapping surveys.

The project is also expected to contribute to a more thorough characterization of the baseline environmental and biological attributes of affected surface water before mining begins.

Seabridge has proposed development of its KSM project, where a preliminary feasibility study has suggested recovering 38.8 million oz. of gold and 10.2 billion lb. of copper. The project carries a hefty price tag and the company is seeking partners.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)

Transition Metals confirms new zones at Highland

Transition Metals (CVE: XTM) has confirmed new zones of gold mineralization at its Highland property 60 km northwest of Sydney, in the Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Highlands.

Recent reverse circulation drilling confirmed strike and dip extensions to zone 6A. In zone 6B, a hole intersected 9.0 metres grading 6.14 g/t gold, including 2.0 metres at 25.46 g/t. These two zones are about 2 km east of the Main zone, where rotary air blast drilling returned 9.1 metres grading 23.22 g/t gold.

Transition planned the RC drilling program to investigate near surface showings accessible from MacMillan Road. The company tested large scale, secondary structures indicated by a geophysical survey flown in 2018.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)

Victoria Gold pours first doré bar from Eagle mine

Victoria Gold (CVE: VIT) poured the first gold bar at its new Eagle mine 85 km north of Mayo on Sept. 18. Canada’s Yukon Territory’s Premier Sandy Silver poured the 1,001-oz. bar.

The company says it has reached a hiring goal – 54% of the 251 operational employees to date, including several from the Nacho Hyak Dunn First Nation. The safety record is also impressive – 1.7 million lost time free hours.

The Eagle gold mine is part of Victoria’s Dublin Gulch property. The Eagle and Olive deposits have proven and probable reserves of 123 million tonnes grading 0.67 g/t gold for 2.7 million oz.

The measured and indicated resource (including reserves) are 208 million tonnes at 0.66 g/t gold, containing 4.4 million oz. The inferred resource is 20 million tonnes at 0.64 g/t, containing 400,00 oz. of gold.

The Eagle mine is expected to produce 200,000 oz. of gold annually at an all-in sustaining cost of $750 per ounce. Victoria continues to ramp up the operation, saying the work is ahead of schedule.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)

Veolia technology chosen for Toyota-Orocobre refinery

Veolia Water Technologies will provide a chemical processing plant featuring HPD evaporation and crystallization technologies designed to convert lithium carbonate into lithium hydroxide employed in the manufacturing of batteries that power electric vehicles.

Driven by their joint success in supporting the rapid evolution and adoption of electric mobility, Toyota Tsusho, part of the Toyota Group, and Orocobre, an Australia-based industrial chemicals company, along with their joint venture Toyotsu Lithium awarded Veolia a comprehensive engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract to build a new plant in Japan. The Naraha facility is designed to convert 9,500 tonnes per year of technical-grade lithium carbonate into 10,000 t/y of purified, battery grade lithium hydroxide.

Thanks to low cost operations and strong demand from Japanese battery makers, lithium carbonate volumes have been steadily increasing since Toyota Tsusho and Orocobre first produced lithium in 2015 at their brine-based Olaroz lithium facility in northern Argentina. To support this growth, the joint venture made one of the biggest investment decisions to raise output in the South American lithium market, and the new Naraha hydroxide plant that will process this increased feedstock capacity will be the first of its kind in Japan.

To demonstrate the feasibility of the process design, Veolia successfully conducted laboratory testing and simulated key unit operations including clarification, ion exchange purification, evaporation, crystallization, and precipitation at its Phillip J. Stewart Technology Center in Plainfield, Ill. The results obtained from this work confirmed the design parameters, reduced the technical risks and boosted the project viability resulting in the joint venture’s decision to allocate the funds for the investment, which was also supported by a grant from the Japanese government.

“We are pleased to be chosen by Toyota Tsusho and Orocobre to help them deliver the flagship Naraha project. This award further consolidates Veolia’s position as the preferred technology supplier of cutting edge chemical processing solutions to global lithium producers and refiners ” stated Jim Brown, executive VP, Veolia Water Technologies Americas.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)

Veolia technology chosen for Toyota-Orocobre refinery

Veolia Water Technologies will provide a chemical processing plant featuring HPD evaporation and crystallization technologies designed to convert lithium carbonate into lithium hydroxide employed in the manufacturing of batteries that power electric vehicles.

Driven by their joint success in supporting the rapid evolution and adoption of electric mobility, Toyota Tsusho, part of the Toyota Group, and Orocobre, an Australia-based industrial chemicals company, along with their joint venture Toyotsu Lithium awarded Veolia a comprehensive engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract to build a new plant in Japan. The Naraha facility is designed to convert 9,500 tonnes per year of technical-grade lithium carbonate into 10,000 t/y of purified, battery grade lithium hydroxide.

Thanks to low cost operations and strong demand from Japanese battery makers, lithium carbonate volumes have been steadily increasing since Toyota Tsusho and Orocobre first produced lithium in 2015 at their brine-based Olaroz lithium facility in northern Argentina. To support this growth, the joint venture made one of the biggest investment decisions to raise output in the South American lithium market, and the new Naraha hydroxide plant that will process this increased feedstock capacity will be the first of its kind in Japan.

To demonstrate the feasibility of the process design, Veolia successfully conducted laboratory testing and simulated key unit operations including clarification, ion exchange purification, evaporation, crystallization, and precipitation at its Phillip J. Stewart Technology Center in Plainfield, Ill. The results obtained from this work confirmed the design parameters, reduced the technical risks and boosted the project viability resulting in the joint venture’s decision to allocate the funds for the investment, which was also supported by a grant from the Japanese government.

“We are pleased to be chosen by Toyota Tsusho and Orocobre to help them deliver the flagship Naraha project. This award further consolidates Veolia’s position as the preferred technology supplier of cutting edge chemical processing solutions to global lithium producers and refiners ” stated Jim Brown, executive VP, Veolia Water Technologies Americas.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)

Monarch Gold begins drilling at McKenzie Break

Montreal-based Monarch Gold has begun a new diamond drilling program at its wholly owned McKenzie Break gold property 25 km north of Val d’Or. The property is near both the company’s Camflo and Beacon mills.

The program will drill 2,670 metres in seven holes. Four holes will test new zones in the southeast sector of the deposit at depth. Three holes will be drilled in the northeast sector to extend the known pit constrained resource. An estimated 165,608 oz. of gold has already been identified at the project.

The new program will follow-up on these results obtained in 2018:

  • Hole MK-18-196: 61.20 g/t gold over 2.6 metres, including 265.00 g/t Au over 0.6 metre; and
  • Hole MK-18-216: 24.40 g/t gold over 2.0 metres including 93.80 g/t Au over 0.5 metre.
  • Visible gold was observed in 17 of the 61 holes drilled.

A year ago Monarch released a 43-101 pit constrained resource of 939,860 indicated tonnes grading 1.59 g/t gold and an inferred underground resource of 281,839 tonnes grading 5.90 g/t gold.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)

Monarch Gold begins drilling at McKenzie Break

Montreal-based Monarch Gold has begun a new diamond drilling program at its wholly owned McKenzie Break gold property 25 km north of Val d’Or. The property is near both the company’s Camflo and Beacon mills.

The program will drill 2,670 metres in seven holes. Four holes will test new zones in the southeast sector of the deposit at depth. Three holes will be drilled in the northeast sector to extend the known pit constrained resource. An estimated 165,608 oz. of gold has already been identified at the project.

The new program will follow-up on these results obtained in 2018:

  • Hole MK-18-196: 61.20 g/t gold over 2.6 metres, including 265.00 g/t Au over 0.6 metre; and
  • Hole MK-18-216: 24.40 g/t gold over 2.0 metres including 93.80 g/t Au over 0.5 metre.
  • Visible gold was observed in 17 of the 61 holes drilled.

A year ago Monarch released a 43-101 pit constrained resource of 939,860 indicated tonnes grading 1.59 g/t gold and an inferred underground resource of 281,839 tonnes grading 5.90 g/t gold.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)

Noront updates drilling at McFaulds VMS discovery

Toronto-based Noront Resources has updated its phase two summer exploration program at the McFaulds volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit in the Ring of Fire. The project is 85% owned and operated by Noront, and the remaining 15% belongs to KWG Resources.

The best result came from hole MCF-19-103 that returned 10.1 metres grading 3.3% copper, 6.5 g/t silver, 0.2 g/t gold, and no significant zinc values. This hole was drilled 215 metres down dip from last year’s MCF-18-98 that represented the largest step out intersection at the deposit to date.

“We believe we are now into the copper-rich stockwork zone of this VMS deposit based on the banded form and copper-rich nature of this intersection, the intensity and width of hydrothermal alteration, and the marked change in orientation and stratigraphic position of the mineralization in MCF-19-103 compared with holes further up dip,” said Noront VP exploration Ryan Weston.

Noront hopes to establish large enough copper-zinc resources in multiple high grade VMS deposits to support a central milling operation.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)

Wheaton Precious Metals joins UN Global Compact

Wheaton Precious Metals Corp. has joined the United Nations Global Compact. Launched in 2000, the Compact is the largest corporate sustainability initiative in the world. As signatories, it includes more than 9,500 companies and 3,000 non-business entities based in over 160 countries.

The Compact guides its member with a principle-based framework, best practices, resources, and networking events. The goal is to strengthen corporate sustainability practices for a better society, a goal that meshes nicely with Wheaton’s philosophy.

“We strongly believe in promoting responsible mining practices and supporting long term sustainable benefits in the communities where we and our partners live and operate. Wheaton’s asset portfolio is based primarily on low cost, long life mines, so for us, sustainability is critical to the success of our business model,” said Wheaton president and CEO Randy Smallwood.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)

Pretium buys back Brucejack royalties from Osisko

Pretium Resources, the owner and operator of the Brucejack gold mine near Stewart, B.C., has arranged to buy back the mine’s royalties currently held by Osisko Gold Royalties.

Pretium will make a payment of $31.2 million to Osisko on Sept. 30, 2019, and the balance on Nov. 30, 2019. The total cash purchase price to Pretium will be $41.3 million.

Osisko chairman and CEO Sean Roosen said, “Since acquiring the Orion portfolio in 2017, we now have received approximately $164.3 million from Pretium, including proceeds from the buyback of the stream and sale of the offtake as well as cash margins to date from the offtake, compared to a book value of approximately $147.3 million for our investment in Pretium.”

Osisko says it will use the proceeds of the sales for additional investments. Osisko’s 2019 guidance included 500 gold equivalent oz. from the Brucejack project in the fourth quarter of this year.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)