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Stone Gold: The Potential of the Batchewana Bay Copper Project

In March, 2021, Stone Gold Inc. (TSXV:STG) announced the strategic acquisitions of the East Breccia and the Tribag Mine properties
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This article was originally published by The Deep Dive

In March, 2021, Stone Gold Inc. (TSXV:STG) announced the strategic acquisitions of the East Breccia and the Tribag Mine properties in the Batchewana Bay Greenstone Belt north of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. These properties border on the company’s Coppercorp property and increase its land position to 21,400 hectares, which essentially gives Stone Gold control over most of the Batchewana Belt.

The Batchewana Belt hosts several copper-bearing deposits that produced over 2.2 million tons of copper during the 1960’s and 1970’s. The Coppercorp Project hosts the historic Coppercorp Mine, Richards Breccia, Kincaid Breccia, Jorgan Porphyry, and the Glenrock gold property. 

While STG’s focus is on developing the project’s copper deposits, the Glenrock Gold Project, which is part of the property, sits on a classic Archean greenstone structure, indicating a completely different belt may run through the property. This provides the potential for a large copper deposit and gold deposit to be developed within the same district scale project.

The company has rebranded the Batchewana Bay District into two distinct projects based on the varied geology as a result:

  • 1. The Copper Road Project (inclusive of the two past producing copper mines and various targets)
  • 2. The Glenrock Gold Project (under-explored Archean greenstone belt)
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As part of the acquisition of the East Breccia and the Tribag Mine properties Stone Gold acquired a comprehensive database that included the historical geological logs and listed assays in PDF form, as well as a compilation of data from 500 historical surface and underground drill holes. The company also obtained a 3rd party digital model and a quality historic plan map, and these will be integrated into STG’s existing database to create 3-D exploration models and formulate drill programs using today’s advanced exploration technologies and methodologies to determine the size and scope of the underlying mineralization.

Historical brownfields diamond drilling in the breccia bodies was focused on copper for it’s industrial properties, while the broader spectrum of mineralization such as tungsten, gold, silver, molybdenum, rhenium and other rare earth elements were largely ignored due to low precious metal prices throughout most of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Many of the elements such as rhodium, platinum, palladium, tantalum, etc. were historically ignored because at that time there were little known uses for many of these minerals, which are today in high demand due to their widespread use in electronics and EVs. Today, any meaningful recoveries of these minerals during the copper extraction process can provide producers with added credits.

An important aspect of the Batchewana Bay project is that it is open for expansion both laterally and at depth. Historical documented data suggests that the ore at the Tribag Mine has been restricted to the Breton breccia pipe, which at surface has a length of approximately 1,400 feet and a width of 130 to 350 feet, and its size increases at depth, with the deepest drill hole of 1,613 feet bottoming in breccia. This supports a program to conduct step-out drilling at depth to further assess the size and scope of the breccia’s mineralized zone, and perhaps determine whether the deposit may be connected to other breccias at depth. 

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Stone Gold is modelling the Tribag Property breccias to prepare a comprehensive exploration program to further delineate the size of the deposit and to formulate an extraction plan to generate cash flow. The Breton Breccia will be the first priority due to its extensive historical data and high-grade mineralization.

Three types of modelling have been completed for the Breton Breccia (Former Tribag Mine):

  • The Breton Breccia Grade Model was developed from over 500 historical brownfields diamond drill holes demonstrating superior copper grades than the historical estimates and remains untested for ancillary mineralization. Management intends to initially focus on evaluating the Breton Breccia as it has high-grade mineralization and expansion potential. The copper mineralization is open at depth and laterally with good spatial continuity at greater than 0.5% Copper. 
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  • The Breccia – Porphyry Deposit Model will assess the historical resource estimates. In 1972, Teck’s technical team made a rough estimate of the total copper in the Breton Breccia above the 1000-foot level. The estimate of 40 million tons of 0.3% to 0.4% copper was based on about 70 surface drill holes and additional underground holes with incomplete analysis for only copper, using acid digestion and iodine titration procedures that are not suitable for precise low-grade assays. In 1966 Teck estimated that the East Breccia contained 125,000,000 tons of 0.13% copper and some molybdenum above the 1000-foot level.
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  • The Breton Breccia Solid Model examines existing faults and dikes, which will be modelled with a goal of conducting borehole IP geophysical surveys and several 500 foot or more vertical to steeply dipping drill holes to test the extent of the breccia mineralization at depth, confirm the model’s copper grades, and test for additional mineral such as gold, silver, cobalt, molybdenum, and tungsten. Care will be taken to avoid hitting existing underground workings.

The purpose of the modelling program is to enable Stone Gold to assess the economic viability of the Batchewana Bay copper deposits for production. To do so, Stone Gold will conduct step-out and in-fill drilling to further delineate the size and scope of the mineralized zones in the breccias.

These drill programs may discover mineralization between the known zones, which could potentially connect some or all of them into one massive sized deposit. The existing resource estimates were made by Teck’s technical team in 1972.

  • Breton Breccia – 40 million tons at 0.2% copper above a depth of 1000 feet 
  • East Breccia – 113 million tons at 0.13% copper and 0.03% to 0.05% molybdenum. Limited diamond drilling performed by Boxer Gold in 2012 returned favorable intersections and much higher grades than the historical estimates. Highlights from that program include 67 metres @ 0.49% Cu, 0.01% Mo, 0.17 g/t Re and 109 metres @ 0.20% Cu, 0.014% Mo, 0.34 g/t Re
  • West Breccia – 90,718 tons at 0.6 to 1.0% tungsten, or 1 million tons at 0.23% tungsten 

The Tribag property has not been drilled in 50 years, therefore Stone Gold plans to twin existing holes to confirm previous results and establish a historical grade. Holes will be tested for other minerals to raise the copper equivalent grade.

Management believes that the modelling and ensuing drill programs could increase the size and grade of the resources significantly. This would enable the company to produce a NI 43-101 report with documented inferred resources of (hopefully) high-grade copper. 

If future drilling programs can connect the mineralization from the various breccias to indicate a large size deposit at depth, that could completely change the dynamic of the project and potentially attract the attention of copper extraction companies to take over the project and put it into production.

Stone Gold has only 28.2 million shares outstanding in a tight capital structure and management will endeavor to keep this structure as tight as it can going forward. The recent financing enables the company to begin its exploration program and any encouraging exploration results could reasonably provide investors with a catalyst for a positive impact on the company’s currently small market capitalization of only $3.68 million. 


FULL DISCLOSURE: Stone Gold is a client of Canacom Group, the parent company of The Deep Dive. The author has been compensated to cover Stone Gold on The Deep Dive, with The Deep Dive having full editorial control. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. We may buy or sell securities in the company at any time. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security.

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Author: Phil Gracin

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Monsters of Rock: Good news continues to flow if you’re in lithium

The news continues to get brighter for lithium producers and up and comers trying to ride the same wave. Benchmark … Read More
The post Monsters of Rock:…

The news continues to get brighter for lithium producers and up and comers trying to ride the same wave.

Benchmark Mineral Intelligence data from November shows spodumene prices continued to climb, rising 17.3% month on month in November to an average of US$1525/t FOB Australia.

That’s 301.3% up in just 12 months and more than 290% higher year on year.

Prices are so far beyond levels of just a year ago (in around the US$400/t mark) that US$1250/t is now the low point of recorded sales, which ranged as high as US$1800/t.

Starving battery manufacturers are paying as much as US$32,000/t to get their hands on uncontracted lithium hydroxide chemicals, with prices up 5.4% MoM and 92.1% YoY to US$19,500/t FOB North America and prices in China averaging $30,300/t, up 2.1%.

The inflection on these index charts is so hectic it looks like a goddamn cobra about to strike.

Lithium price indexes
Pic: Benchmark Mineral Intelligence

On a weighted average basis hydroxide prices were up 6.2% to US$25,894/t, while carbonate prices are up 2.8% to US$23,798/t.

BMI analyst George Miller said the supply-demand situation left producers very much in control during contracting season.

“Activity in the domestic Chinese lithium chemical market picked back up in the latter half of November, as buyers looked to restock inventories ahead of the Spring Festival. The increased demand drove upward price pressure as trading gained pace following a quiet period at the end of October and during early November,” he said.

“Outside of China, prices also continued to rise during the ongoing contracting season, as buyers became increasingly willing to accept higher prices to secure any available lithium supply towards the end of 2021 and into 2022.

“Furthermore, producers sought to introduce more regular pricing breaks in contract structures given the potential upside on the back of supply deficit expectations, lifting the bottom end of prices as contracts begun to be revised higher amidst ongoing negotiations.

“The upper end of the range of recorded prices also ticked upwards, with lower volume spot transactions shifting towards Chinese domestic prices in response to very limited availability.

“As such, the Benchmark Lithium Price Index rose by 4.4% m-o-m in November, which alongside rising demand, was driven by expectations of a widening supply deficit into the New Year and continued international demand growth in Q4 2021. High prices and robust demand gave way to a stream of investments into the lithium value chain in November, in particular, Chinese incumbents striking deals with western companies in pursuit of supply expansions.”

China, which is increasing its production of lithium-iron-phosphate battery chemistries, has imported almost 70,000t of lithium carbonate this year, 80.8% up on the same period in 2020, while European demand for EVs remains high.

Sales were up 91.1% year on year to 180,000 units.

 

Lithium mid-tiers rule the roost

With that in mind it was lithium project developers that dominated the gains in the materials sector today.

AVZ Minerals (ASX:AVZ), owner of the giant Manono project in the DRC was up 14.16% after a big feature Q & A in Stockhead’s morning newsletter, while Vulcan Energy (ASX:VUL) rose 6.23% and Ioneer (ASX:INR) climbed 7.83%.

Among the large caps oil and gas stocks Woodside and Santos were up after Oil Search shareholders approved their mega merger with the latter to create a $23 billion energy major.

 

 

Lithium stocks share price today:

 

The post Monsters of Rock: Good news continues to flow if you’re in lithium appeared first on Stockhead.



Author: Josh Chiat

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Resources Top 5: Hopeful uranium stocks, an important graphite deal, and lots of imminent news flow

Aspiring graphite miner Black Rock invited to finalise agreement with Tanzanian government Cauldron Energy dusts off Yanrey uranium project, despite ……

  • Aspiring graphite miner Black Rock invited to finalise agreement with Tanzanian government
  • Cauldron Energy dusts off Yanrey uranium project, despite government opposition
  • Redstone (copper, cobalt), Latrobe (magnesium) and Empire (gold, copper, nickel, PGEs) up on no news

Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in early trade, Tuesday December 7.

 

CAULDRON ENERGY (ASX:CXU)

(Up on no news)

When the WA state government implemented a ban on most new uranium mines in 2017, CXU stopped work at its flagship ‘Yanrey’ uranium project and began searching for other dirt to play with.

It now has a historic gold project called ‘Blackwood’ in Victoria and a silica sands play called ‘Ashburton’ in WA. It is also poking around Yanrey again, which is a lot more interesting now that uranium prices are on the move.

While government support (or lack thereof) for new mines has not changed, a recent survey uncovered a bunch of “highly prospective targets for follow-up drilling” at Yanrey.

“Our ultimate objective is to explore for uranium mineralisation amenable to extraction by ISR,” CXU exec chairman Simon Youds says.

“Economic deposits of sandstone-hosted, palaeochannel-style uranium can be mined using ISR in the lowest cost quartile of uranium mined globally.”

“This characteristic makes these deposits extremely attractive for mining at any uranium price and necessarily must form the basis of any uranium resource portfolio.”

Yanrey exists within a larger uranium province that is slowly being uncovered, Youds says.

“There is potential here for a scale comparable to the best uranium-endowed province globally and that, with astute leadership, Western Australia is at the threshold of a new energy resources boom.”

At Blackwood, CXU has stumbled upon visible gold in an underground area historically excavated for access purposes only:

“The visible gold observed, coupled with the beautiful sandstone-shale contact and structurally complex geology, provides an exciting new target for drill testing,” Youds said in November.

“The observation of visible gold further increases our confidence in the remaining mineral potential of these historical mines.”

The $11.5m market cap stock is down 6% over the past month, and 30% year-to-date. It had $1.5m in the bank at the end of September.


 

REDSTONE RESOURCES (ASX:RDS)

(Up on no news)

The nanocap, which has partially bounced back from recent losses in early trade Tuesday, is drilling to grow the 38,000t copper, 535t cobalt ‘Tollu Copper Vein’ deposit, part of the ‘West Musgrave’ project in WA.

Tollu hosts “a giant swarm of hydrothermal copper rich veins” in a mineralised system covering a +5sqkm area, ~40km from OZ Minerals’ (ASX:OZL) world-class Nebo-Babel nickel-copper deposit.

A conceptual (theoretical, not real yet) exploration target suggests up to 627,000t of copper may be present, the company says.

Recent portable XRF analysis of new drilling returned hits like 16m at 2.62% copper from a 74m downhole, including 6m at 6% copper from 76m.

These will be confirmed by traditional assay, the company says. Labs are backed up to the hilt, so who knows when that will be.

RDS say exploration will continue “at the earliest opportunity” in 2022 with a deeper RC drilling program at priority targets.

The $12m market cap stock is up 30% over the past month. It had $2.6m in the bank at the end of the September quarter.

 

BLACK ROCK MINING (ASX:BKT)

It’s been a good news week for aspiring graphite miner BKT.

Today it announced it had been invited by the Mining Commission to attend a ceremony in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on Monday 13 December “to finalise an agreement with the Government of Tanzania”.

Black Rock managing director John de Vries is currently in country and is expected to attend, BKT says.

The company has also just completed a massive 500t pilot plant run – the largest ever, it says — to send off for qualification (testing) to potential customers in North America, Asia and Europe.

This will ultimately support project financing, BKT says.

The company now needs to finalise off-take terms with cornerstone investor POSCO, and secure finance to underpin a $US116m Phase 1 development capex program.

The $183m market cap stock is down 10% over the past month, and up 115% year-to-date. It had $9.3m in the bank at the end of September.

 

LATROBE MAGNESIUM (ASX:LMG)

(Up on no news)

Early works – like fixing fences, site clean-up, contracting — are happening apace at LMG’s magnesium project in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, with construction on an initial 1,000 tonne per annum magnesium plant due to kick off in Q1 2022.

Production starts up to 12 months later in Q4 2022.

The plant will be expanded to 10,000 tonnes per annum magnesium shortly thereafter, with further plant capacity expansion to be considered once it is operating successfully.

Magnesium has the best strength-to-weight ratio of all common structural metals and is increasingly used in the manufacture of car parts, laptop computers, mobile phones, and power tools.

In November, LMG said current magnesium price was US$6,150 per metric tonne and expected to hold.

“LMG’s revenue estimates are based upon US$3,250 per tonne which was the magnesium price in June 2021, before the China supply shortage commenced in September 2021,” it says.

“If the current price of US$6,150 per metric tonne held long term, it would increase LMG’s estimate of EBITDA for its 10,000tpa plant by some $56m.”

In 2020, world magnesium production was ~1 million tonnes, of which China supplied ~85%.  China has begun a 13-year plan to increase Mg in cars from 8.6kg to 45kg by 2030, requiring an additional 1 million tonnes of new Mg production per annum.

$131m market cap LMG is down 21% over the past month, and up 335% year-to-date. It has raised $11.5m  via placement to help fund the initial $39m 1,000tpa plant.

 

EMPIRE RESOURCES (ASX:ERL)

(Up on no news)

This busy polymetallic explorer has already drilled 13,000m so far in 2021 at the ‘Penny’s and Yuinmery’ projects in WA, with diamond drilling of some juicy gold, copper, and nickel-copper-PGE targets at Yuinmery due to kick off sometime this month.

ERL would’ve drilled even more if not for issues getting hold of a rig, something the company intends to fix in 2022.

“Our exploration plans for 2022 include the lock-in of a core drilling rig and driller for exclusive use by Empire,” chairman Michael Ruane says.

“This should assist in accelerating at least the drilling component of our exploration programs for the forthcoming period. The rig will be particularly useful for the deep drilling required for the promising Yuinmery targets (eg Smiths Well/YT01).”

The rig should be ready for commissioning this month, he says.

The $14.85m market cap stock is up 30% over the past month. It had about $3.5m in the bank at the end of November.


The post Resources Top 5: Hopeful uranium stocks, an important graphite deal, and lots of imminent news flow appeared first on Stockhead.







Author: Reuben Adams

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Energy & Critical Metals

Met testwork proves Sovereign’s Kasiya will deliver a premium natural rutile product

Special Report: Metallurgical testwork has confirmed Sovereign Metals’ Kasiya project in Malawi will deliver a premium natural rutile product, setting…

Metallurgical testwork has confirmed Sovereign Metals’ Kasiya project in Malawi will deliver a premium natural rutile product, setting the stage for the company’s landmark scoping study.

Testwork continues to demonstrate the world class nature of Sovereign’s (ASX:SVM) Kasiya deposit, with simple and conventional processing delivering levels of 95% to 97.2% TiO2 with low impurities at stand-out metallurgical recoveries ranging from 94% to 100%.

That makes Kasiya competitive on TiO2 grades with some of the world’s largest natural rutile operations like Iluka’s Sierra Rutile and Rio Tinto’s Richards Bay Minerals.

It opens the door for discussions with tier-1 offtakers in the markets for TiO2 pigment, titanium metal and welding, where customers are facing widening supply deficits in a strengthening market.

Additionally, testwork has shown conventional flotation methods can be used to produce a coarse flake graphite by-product from rutile gravity tails with 60% at a coarseness of +150µm, suggesting it will have a high basket value when sold to market.

A program at SGS Lakefield in Canada confirmed simple processing methods delivered a very coarse-flake graphite concentrate at 96.3% TGC.

“Consistently achieving premium rutile specifications with stand-out recoveries via conventional “off the shelf” processing methods reinforces the robustness of metallurgical and processing performance of the Kasiya rutile mineralisation ahead of the upcoming Scoping Study,” Sovereign managing director Dr Julian Stephens said.

“These continued very high-quality product specifications should generate further interest from end-users across the titanium sector as the global structural deficit in natural rutile supply continues to widen.”

Processed rutile being despatched to potential customers. Pic: Sovereign Metals

Kasiya scoping study round the corner

With the results in today’s announcement, Sovereign has now demonstrated the impressive metallurgical qualities of the Kasiya resource in two separate rounds of met testwork.

The testwork also confirms Kasiya will deliver strong recoveries and product specifications based on conventional off-the-shelf processing technology, which bodes well for its future development.

Proving the original results were certainly no fluke and opening the door to interest from Tier-1 offtake customers, they set up Sovereign to release a scoping study in the coming weeks.

With most of the technical disciplines now complete, mining optimisation and capital and operating cost estimations are currently being finalised.

A new indicated mineral resource estimate is also on the way after substantial resource drilling to build upon the world-class inferred resource released in June.

That confirmed Kasiya as one of the largest natural rutile deposits in the world, with an inferred resource of 644Mt at 1.01% rutile and a high-grade component of 137Mt at 1.41% rutile.

 


 

 

This article was developed in collaboration with Sovereign Metals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

 

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.

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Author: Special Report

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