Rock mechanics study completed for Kun-Manie

The rock mechanics (geomechanical) study for mining at London-listed Amur Minerals’ Kun-Manie project, in Russia, has been completed and approved by authorities, confirming that the project can be implemented as an openpit operation. The study, compiled by the Mining Institute of the Far Eastern Russian Academy of Sciences (MIFERAS), was based on the regional tectonic setting and project specific data derived from the testing of exploration drill core. It confirms that openpit operations can be implemented at the Maly Kurumkon/Flangovy and Vodorazdelny deposits, and at the area identified as ISK (the now continuous orebody from Ikenskoe/Sobolevsky through Kubuk).

Bluejay prepares for ‘highly active’ year in Greenland

Greenland-focused Bluejay Mining is preparing for a “highly active” year ahead, as it plans for a maiden drilling campaign at its newly enlarged Kangerluarsuk zinc/lead/silver project, while work continues at the advanced Dundas ilmenite project and the Disko-Nussauq project. Bluejay CEO Roderick McIllree on Monday announced that Bluejay had been awarded a new mineral exploration licence surrounding the existing Kangerluarsuk project, which at 586 km2 has expanded the project licence area to 692 km2.

Weekend Show – Sat 25 Jan, 2020

Hour 1 – A Focus on US Market Health, New Fed Nominees, and Base Metal Investments
Full First Hour

  • Segment 1 – Jesse Felder kicks off the show by sharing why his main focus is the US markets and volatility. He weighs sentiment, fundamentals, and technical factors in this segment.
  • Segment 2 – Chris Temple joins me for a look at the two Federal Reserve nominees Christopher Waller and Judy Shelton. There are some interesting comments about the type of policy the Fed could shift towards.
  • Segment 3 – Dave Erfle and I shift focus to the resource sector. We discuss where Dave sees value in metals stocks as the gold stocks continue to lag.
  • Segment 4 – Adventus Mining has been quietly de-risking an interesting base metals asset in Ecuador. With a busy 2020 ahead, including a large exploration drill program, Christian Kargl-Simard President and CEO of Adventus shares all the details you need to know for this year.

Exclusive Company Interviews This Week

Jesse Felder
Chris Temple
Dave Erfle
Adventus Mining – Christian Kargl-Simard

Copper sees worst losing streak since 2018 on virus fears

Copper saw its worst streak of losses since mid-2018 as more patients were infected by the deadly coronavirus in the US, spurring a sell-off in riskier assets while boosting gold’s haven appeal. US officials are monitoring more than 60 people as they attempt to catch new cases of coronavirus in travelers from China, the center of the outbreak. Mounting concerns that the spreading deadly disease could further crimp global growth sent equities and commodities declining.

Codelco kicks off production at El Teniente expansion ahead of schedule

Chile’s state-owned Codelco, the world’s no.1 copper producer, has kicked off commercial production from the $759 million phase one expansion project at El Teniente mine, 15 months ahead of schedule.

With ore reserves estimated at 157 million tonnes and a copper grade of 0.75%, the new section — called Recursos Norte — is expected to contribute about 20% of the ore fed daily to El Teniente processing facilities.

The next steps toward extending the life of the mine will be the Diamante and Andesita projects, both of which are already under construction, and the future Andes Norte project.

Once the full expansion is completed, which is set to happen by 2023, El Teniente mine’s production is estimated to reach 500,000 tonnes of copper a year, positioning it among the world’s five largest copper operations.

Codelco has also begun building a new 3.5 km access tunnel, which will cost the company $49 million. Once operational, slated for 2022, it will be the main access to the mine and key to El Teniente’s future centralized maintenance.

The overall $3.4 billion-expansion project, which is expected to extend its productive life by 50 years, , is part of an ambitious, 10-year, $39 billion investment drive at Codelco to open new projects and overhaul older mines.

El Teniente, located 80km south of Santiago in the Andes mountain range in Chile, already is the world’s biggest underground copper mine and the sixth largest by reserve size.

Codelco holds vast copper deposits, accounting for 10% of the world’s known proven and probable reserves and about 11% of the global annual copper output with 1.8 million tonnes of production.

Codelco kicks off production at El Teniente expansion ahead of schedule
Recursos Norte is expected to contribute about 20% of the ore fed daily to El Teniente processing facilities. (Image courtesy of Codelco | Flickr.)

ERG suspends Zambia refinery on shortage of cobalt, copper concentrates

Eurasia Resources Group's (ERG) Africa unit said on Thursday it will suspend operations at Chambishi Metals in Zambia due to a shortage of copper and cobalt concentrates required to produce cathode. Zambia, Africa's second-largest copper producer, has introduced a 5% import tax on raw materials which has hobbled the flow of concentrates from mines in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Lundin Mining meets guidance at all operations

Canada-headquartered Lundin Mining has achieved its production guidance for all the metals it produces, at all its operations, as the miner prepares for a big jump in production this year. The miner produced 67 131 t of copper in the fourth quarter, taking total production for the year to 235 498 t, which is in its guidance of 227 000 t to 245 000 t. The Candelaria mine, in Chile, produced 39 221 t in the final quarter, which president and CEO Marie Inkster said on Wednesday was achieved during a time of considerable unrest in the country.

Kukielski named permanent CEO at HudBay

HudBay Minerals Inc.  [HBM-TSX, NYSE] on Wednesday January 22 said its board of directors has formally appointed Peter Kukielski as the company’s permanent President and CEO. Kukielski has served as interim CEO since July, 2019 following the departure of Alan Hair, who spent more than 20 years with Hudbay and was instrumental in the company’s growth, serving as chief operating officer from 2012 to 2015 before being appointed President and CEO in 2016.

Kukielski has more than 30 years of extensive global experience within the base metals, precious metals and bulk materials sectors, having overseen operations across the globe.

On Wednesday, Hudbay shares eased 1.7% or $0.08 to $4.54. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $3.98 and $10.42.

Having put management uncertainty behind it, HudBay is expected to refocus now on developing its growth initiatives.

News of Hair’s departure comes after HudBay and Waterton Global Resource Management Inc. recently reached a settlement agreement regarding the proxy contest for HudBay’s board of directors.

Waterton Global Resource Management is a private equity firm, which owns 12% of HudBay’s outstanding shares.

Under the agreement, Waterton won the right to appoint three of the 11 board seats. The board pledged to launch the search for a new Chair.

The deal was viewed as positive because it eased fears that Waterton might dump its Hudbay shares if it lost the proxy battle.

HudBay is an integrated mining company, primarily producing copper concentrate (containing copper, gold and silver), zinc concentrate and zinc metal. The company owns four polymetallic mines, four ore concentrators and a zinc production facility.

The operations are located in northern Manitoba and Saskatchewan, Peru and Arizona.

The Waterton board nominees were Peter Kukielski, Daniel Muniz Quintanilla, and David Smith.

HudBay’s current Chair Alan Hibben agreed to remain in that position until a successor is found. He is expected to retire from the board at the 2020 annual general meeting.

Waterton and HudBay recently clashed over media speculation that HudBay was in talks to buy Mantos Copper SA, a Chilean private miner owned equally by Audley Capital and Orion Mine Finance. Published reports said Mantos was seeking a buyer to fund its expansion plans.

Waterton responded by saying it was opposed to the idea. It expressed the view that HudBay should not be pursuing growth for the sake of empire building.

Waterton also said if HudBay intended to begin construction of the Rosemont copper project in Arizona in the first quarter of 2019, it could face an imminent funding requirement of $1.1 billion. “This reinforces, from a capital allocation perspective, the need to terminate any potential negotiations for new acquisitions immediately, and specifically acquisitions like the Mantos transaction,” Waterton said.

Cantex says Fipke has not sold shares

Cantex Mine Development Corp. [CD-TSXV; CTXDF-OTC] issued a statement Tuesday January 21 saying that it wanted to clarify recent System For Electronic Disclosure By Insiders (SEDI) filings related to the Yukon silver-lead-zinc explorer.

Cantex said it has been advised that, contrary to recent SEDI filings, neither Chairman Dr. Charles Fipke, nor any entity associated with him has sold any shares of Cantex.

“The recently reported dispositions were all Christmas gifts of shares to family members and employees of CF Minerals, and the SEDI filings have been amended accordingly,” the company said in a press release. Headed by Fipke, CF Mineals is a Kelowna, B.C.,based specialist in heavy mineral geochemistry.

Cantex is a company that set out to define a world class silver-lead-zinc deposit on its 100%-owned North Rackla claim block, which is located approximately 100 km northeast of Mayo in central Yukon.

It has launched the search roughly 30 years after Fipke discovered Canada’s first commercial diamond mine (Ekati) in the Northwest Territories

Covering 14,077-hectares, the Yukon project is also situated to the northeast of both Atac Resources Ltd.’s [ATC-TSXV] Rackla gold property and Victoria Gold Corp.’s [VIT-TSXV] new Eagle Mine.

Hopes that Fipke is onto another big find sparked a steady rise in the value of Cantex shares from 18 cents in October, 2018 to a recent high of just under $7.00 in August, 2019. But the stock price has plunged to below 60 cents this week.

On Tuesday, the shares were down 1.5% or $0.01 to 65 cents and now trade in a 52-week range of 56 cents and $6.99.

Last year, the company was hoping to take a significant step towards its goal by drill testing almost 1 km of strike length on the massive sulphide zone to a depth in places of up to 550 metres. Should we intersect mineralization similar to that intersected last year, this will be a significant deposit, the company has said.

However, in a January 6, 2020, update, the company said it had completed 139 holes totalling 38,174 metres of core drilling at Rackla North, substantially more than the 18,000 metres proposed at the start of 2019.

The 2019 drill program is now complete and drilling is expected to resume when field conditions allow in late spring (2020), the company said in the update.

“With the onset of winter, avalanche hazard limited the area in which it was safe to work,” the company said. “Drills which were testing the continuity to depth beneath pad MZ 5 of the Extension Target and the strike extent of the mineralization at the Discovery Target were relocated to the flat till covered area between these two targets,” the company said.

Cantex went on to say that the till in this area is up to 50 metres thick, making targeting difficult as prospecting and soil-talus sampling were ineffective. “In addition, ground geophysical surveys (including gravity, electromagnetics, induced polarization and resistivity) were unable to define known massive sulphide mineralization, preventing their application.”

In spite of these challenges, Cantex said it successfully intersected significant sulphide mineralization.

The company said poor weather conditions towards the end of the year hampered air support to the project, delaying the shipment of core samples from the site. However, it said conditions did improve just prior to Christmas, allowing the samples to be sent out.

Cantex said the samples have arrived at CF Mineral Research, where they are being crushed and pulverized prior to be sent to ALS Global in North Vancouver for assaying.