Aura Energy agree to sale of Tasiast South tenements

Australia-based minerals company Aura Energy (AEE) has signed a C$4.5-million (A$4.8-million) funding term sheet for the creation of a joint venture (JV) vehicle with TSX-listed Chilean Metals for Aura’s gold, base- and battery-metal tenements in Mauritania. The deal, which is subject to due diligence, is nonbinding and includes Aura’s Tasiast South tenements, which lie over 435 km2 and are in a highly prospective area lying on two lightly explored mineralised greenstone belts.

Ivanhoe keeps Kakula copper project in DRC ahead of schedule

Canada’s Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN) said on Monday that progress at its Kakula copper project, the first of multiple planned mining areas at Kamoa-Kakula in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to progress ahead of schedule.

The company, together with its joint venture (JV) partner China’s Zijin Mining Group, has now completed more than 17 km of underground development, of which 5.1 km is ahead of schedule.

Ivanhoe also said that Kakula’s 2,000-tonne-per-hour ore conveyor system began operations in June, which will further increase the mine’s pace of underground development.

As work on extending the mine below the surface progresses over the next few months, the majority of the headings are expected to transition into the high-grade ore zones, Ivanhoe said.

The Vancouver-based miner noted that early implementation of covid-19 prevention measures has allowed the development of Kakula to continue uninterrupted. As a result, initial production expected in the third quarter of 2021.

Cost increase

In November, the Kamoa-Kakula team completed basic design and costing for Kakula’s initial mine and infrastructure, the first concentrator module and associated infrastructure.

The report pushed initial capital costs up to about $1.3 billion — an 18% increase over planned costs.

Robert Friedland believes the project will become the world’s second-largest copper mine.

Billionaire Robert Friedland, who made his fortune from the Voisey’s Bay nickel project in Canada in the 1990s, has been working on Kamoa-Kakula for ten years.

The mining legend believes the project, being developed in partnership with China’s Zijin Mining Group, will become the world’s second-largest copper mine.

According to an independent pre-feasibility study (PFS) released last year, if all phases are completed the operation is expected to reach peak annual production of more than 700,000 tonnes of copper.

The updated resource estimate for the massive project, delivered in February, shows it holds 1.4 billion indicated tonnes grading 2.74% copper for 83.7 billion pounds of copper and another 339 million inferred tonnes grading 1.68% copper for 12.5 billion pounds of copper at a 1% cut-off grade.

Ivanhoe’s stock was up 3.6% on the TSX on Monday afternoon. The company has a C$4.9 billion market capitalization.

Commercial production declared at Century zinc mine

Zinc miner New Century Resources has declared commercial production at its Century zinc mine, in Queensland. “Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, operations at Century continue to ramp up and have again delivered record production in the June quarter. Century has now achieved seven consecutive quarters of increasing production and lowering costs, and the company remains focused on continuing this trend,” said MD Patrick Walta on Monday.

Mitsui Mining resumes operation of Peru’s zinc mines

Japan's Mitsui Mining and Smelting said on Monday its two zinc mines in Peru resumed operations on July 2 after a closure of more than three months to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. The company's Huanzala and Palka mines had been suspended since March 16 after the local government issued a state of emergency. They restarted operations after some economic activities resumed and the local government gave approval, a spokesman at Mitsui Mining said. "The mines' operations have returned to the levels before the quarantine was put in place in March as they have been preparing for the restart since late June," he said without giving an output forecast for the current year.

Molyhil gets major project status

The government of the Northern Territory has awarded ASX-listed Thor Mining’s Molyhil tungsten/molybdenum project Major Project status. A 2018 definitive feasibility study estimated that the project would require a capital investment of A$69-million and would produce an annual 125 000 t/y of ore, recovering some 8 583 t of tungsten and 3 133 t of molybdenum over a mine life of seven years.

Power Metal progresses with Kisinka exploration

Metal explorer and developer Power Metal Resources (Power Metal) has completed most elements of the follow-up programme at the Kisinka project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, including pitting and mapping. Laboratory analysis will, however, only be possible after air cargo routes reopen.

Sama Resources makes third mineral discovery in Ivory Coast

Sama Resources Inc. [SMA-TSXV; SAMMF-OTC] announced results from its exploration drilling at its nickel, copper, palladium projects in Ivory Coast, West Africa.

Over the last five months, the company completed 4,064 metres at three specific sites over a strike length of 25 km: Samapleu, Bounta and Yepleu. Drilling at the Bounta Zone confirmed the presence of mineralization at depth and warrant additional investigations. This new discovery confirms Bounta as the third mineralized prospect out of more than 20 potential zones within Sama’s tenement as outlined by the 2013 airborne electromagnetic survey.

At the Bounta Zone, located 15 km south of the Samapleu deposit, one borehole was drilled aiming at a strong 11,000 conductivity-thickness (CT) electromagnetic (EM) target located 600 metres from surface. The hole returned disseminated to semi-massive sulphide between 533 metres and 540 metres from surface, with a small section of semi-massive sulphides. Additional geophysical work and more drilling are needed now to explain the source for the strong EM target.

At the Samapleu Project, surface drilling returned excellent results in January which expanded the surface mineralization at the Extension 1 mineralized body by 200 metres toward the southwest. Subsequently, seven boreholes were surveyed using geophysical downhole probe. A strong EM target of 15,000 CT located 550 metres from surface has been outlined. This target remains to be drilled.

At the Yepleu prospect, located 25 km southwest of Samapleu, three holes were completed between April and June 15. Hole YE47-716197 tested a 3,000 CT EM anomaly located 350 metres from surface while hole YE47-361408 tested a 5,000 CT EM anomaly located 450 metres from surface. Both holes intersected the target zones and returned 6.0 metres and 15.0 metres of mineralization respectively ranging from disseminated to semi-massive sulphide mineralization. A third hole, YE45-348726, was drilled down to 924 metres to test a 15,000 CT target at 850 metres from surface. The hole remained within the intrusive complex with numerous sections of magmatic migmatite showing disseminated sulphide mineralization. As the hole did not explain the source of the very strong EM anomaly, the irregular shape of the target might be the cause. It is proposed to perform downhole EM probing to further investigate the exact location of the 15,000 CT target.

Several sample batches will be delivered to the assay laboratory in Canada when post-COVID-19 shipping becomes available.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the requirement for cash conservation measures to be implemented, it was necessary to temporarily suspend exploration activities at the project on the Ivory Coast by mid-June, 2020. High Power Exploration (HPX) is the entity responsible for financing the Ivory Coast project during the initial earn-in period as defined in a joint venture and earn-in agreement. The company will advise when activities on the ground are to resume.

Sama’s financial situation remains strong with a treasury of more than $2.5-million, 24 million shares of SRG Mining Inc. and the agreed HPX project spend.

“With assays pending on the new sulphide intersections at Bounta and Samapleu, along with a catalogue of new geophysical targets generated by HPX’s proprietary technology, we will resume work with even more meaningful and defined targets as soon as we are able. I’m excited to now have three core prospects within this new nickel, copper, palladium district with additional airborne EM targets yet to be explored,” stated Marc-Antoine Audet, President and CEO of Sama Resources.

On Oct. 23, 2017, Sama signed a binding term sheet to form a partnership with HPX TechCo Inc., a private mineral exploration company in which mining entrepreneur Robert Friedland is a significant stakeholder, in order to develop its Ivory Coast nickel-copper and cobalt project in Ivory Coast.

Jervois commences high-prospect drilling programme in Uganda

TSX-listed nickel and copper miner and explorer Jervois Mining is planning to drill at its Kilembe area properties in western Uganda, to test a target with high-grade copper/gold rock chip samples and a coincidental gold in soil anomaly. The CC target is undrilled and contains some of the highest-grade surface gold samples achieved on the company’s Kilembe area project to date.

Moody’s says hope for base metals demand recovery lies largely in China

Ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service says the Covid-19 pandemic has caused significant deterioration in economic indicators and global growth forecasts, while hurting base metals demand. The agency says purchasing managers’ indexes (PMIs) in May remained in a severe contraction, with the US at 43.1; the Eurozone at 39 – but up from 13.5 in April; Brazil at 38.3; and China at 50.6 - after having dropped to a low of 35.7 in February.

Amur outlines strategy for Kun-Manie BFS

Base metals explorer and developer Amur Minerals on Wednesday outlined its strategy to fund the bankable feasibility study (BFS) for its Kun-Manie nickel/copper sulphide project, in the far east of Russia. The company would execute a “tried and proven” funding strategy, board adviser Adam Habib said in a statement, explaining that it planned to put in place a binding offtake agreement and, with the support of the offtaker, raise sufficient funding to complete the BFS. It is envisaged that the funding would be principally through debt, with a further component funded through equity and/or a supporting investment from an offtake partner. Amur would also seek to invest in revenue-generating assets through corporate activity to strengthen its balance sheet and financial position.