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Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) Retakes Top Position With Most Extensive Lithium Operation

Australian lithium producer Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) has officially taken back its position as the world’s most extensive hard-rock lithium operation….

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This article was originally published by Mining Feed
Processing plant at lithium mine in Western Australia. Mechanical processing used to refine lithium spodumene concentrate.

Australian lithium producer Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) has officially taken back its position as the world’s most extensive hard-rock lithium operation. This comes after they announced a 39% increase in the mineral resource at its 100%-owned Pilgangoora lithium-tantalum project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region to 308.9 million tonnes. 

The updated mineral resource replaced the 2020 June estimate and now “comprises 308.9 million tonnes grading 1.14% lithium oxide and 105 ppm tantalum pentoxide, containing 3.5 million tonnes of lithium and 71.7 million pounds of tantalum, respectively.” 

2021 exploration results and the development drilling campaign next to the historical Altura tenement boundary were included in the updated mineral resource, along with the “integration of the mineral resource for the former Altura lithium operations acquired earlier this year.” 

The Pilgangoora lithium project is the largest independent hard-rock lithium operation that produces a spodumene and tantalite concentrate. 

Pilbara also has announced future plans for the newly updated mineral resource. With additional resources defined from the 2021 exploration, this would allow the mining envelope and pit inventory of the combined South Pit areas to expand, resulting in potential further growth without having to stop drilling.  

CEO Ken Brinsden said in a media statement, “This landmark resource upgrade is another clear indication of Pilgangoora’s position as the world’s premier hard rock lithium asset. The scale of the endowment is quite remarkable, with the integration of the adjoining Ngungaju resource, combined with highly successful development and drilling programs, taking our resource inventory well and truly to the next level.”

Alongside this potential growth and expansion, the company says the updated mineral resource will introduce a new ore reserve estimate for Pilgangoora, expecting completion of the new ore in October of this year. 

“We are looking forward to completing an updated Ore Reserve next month that will underpin operations for many decades to come. Against the backdrop of surging global demand for lithium raw materials, Pilgangoora is incredibly well-positioned to play a pivotal role in the accelerating global energy transformation,” Brinsden concluded. 

“Meanwhile, Mineral Resources (MRL) has exited its 5.4% shareholding in Pilbara Minerals Ltd, raising gross pre-tax proceeds of about A$328 million ($259m).” 

Other than the Pilgangoora operation, Pilbara also has the Mt Francisco JV project, which they own 70% of and Atlas Iron Limited owns 30%. It is located 50km southwest of the Pilgangoora project and is home to the last remaining large occurrence of outcropping pegmatites located in close proximity to Port Hedland.

In 2018, drilling at the Mt Francisco operation uncovered multiple pegmatites ranging in thickness up to 30m, some of which have returned elevated levels of tin, tantalum, and lithium. According to the company, only a small section of Mt Francisco has been drilled, with numerous geological and surface geochemical targets remaining untested.


The above references an opinion and is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be investment advice. Seek a licensed professional for investment advice. The author is not an insider or shareholder of any of the companies mentioned above.

The post Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) Retakes Top Position With Most Extensive Lithium Operation appeared first on MiningFeeds.


Asia’s Largest Insurer Hammered As Investors Sell First, Don’t Bother To Ask Questions

Asia’s Largest Insurer Hammered As Investors Sell First, Don’t Bother To Ask Questions

Few were surprised to see that the crash in Evergrande…

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Asia's Largest Insurer Hammered As Investors Sell First, Don't Bother To Ask Questions

Few were surprised to see that the crash in Evergrande dragged down property names (one among then, Sinic Holdings, crashed 87% in minutes and was halted), banks exposed to the property developer (according to report there are over 120), with the contagion spreading to commodities directly linked to China's property sector (such as Iron Ore which plunged 10%), as well as FX of commodity-heavy countries, one ominous decline was that of Asia Pacific's largest insurer, Ping An (whose name literally and unironically means "safe and well"), which dropped 3%, following a 5% drop on Friday, and hitting a four year low on concerns about its property exposure.

The selling took place even though the company issued a statement Friday saying that its insurance funds have “zero exposure” to Evergrande and other real estate companies “that the market has been paying attention to.” Real estate accounts for about 4.9% of Ping An Insurance’s investments, versus an average 3.2% for peers, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

“For real estate enterprises that the market has been paying attention to, PA insurance funds have zero exposure, neither equity or debt, including China Evergrande,” Ping An said in a statement as it rushed to reassure investors.

While it may have no exposure, Ping An does have RMB63.1bn or $9.8bn in exposure to Chinese real estate stocks across its RMB3.8TN ($590BN) of insurance funds, and took a $3.2BN hit in the first half of the year after the default of another developer, China Fortune Land Development. The insurer is also head of the creditor committee for China Fortune Land, which specialises in industrial parks in Hebei province and suffered from delayed local government payments. One of its restructuring advisers, Admiralty Harbour Capital, was hired by Evergrande this week.

At a time when any Evergrande counterparties or even rumored counterparties are immediately deemed radioactive, Ping An's plight demonstrates how acute and widespread the selloff could become in China if Beijing fails to intervene.

“I expect a lot of financial institutions could be hit by the worries” about Evergrande, said Zhou Chuanyi, a Singapore-based analyst at Lucror Analytics. "As long as a financial institution has exposure to developers, Evergrande should take quite a significant share of that."

Yet as the market waits for some response official response, hopeful that Beijing will step in, we discussed earlier that China's policymakers have instead sought to crack down on excessive leverage across its vast real estate sector over the past years, which makes up more than a quarter of the economy, imposing a firm threshold known as the "3 Red lines" which developers must adhere to, and which has meant most developers are limit to % or 5% debt growth at best. 

For now it remains unclear how far the contagion will spread, although if Beijing stubbornly refuses to intervene, expect much more pain as capital markets seek to force Beijing's hand by make it unpalatable for the CCP to suffer even more selling which could spark social unrest.

“The price action across several asset classes in Asia today is horrendous due to rising fears over Evergrande and a few other issues, but it could be an overreaction due to all of the market closures,” said Brian Quartarolo, portfolio manager at Pilgrim Partners Asia.

As discussed earlier, Xi faces a tricky balancing act as he tries to reduce property-sector leverage and make housing more affordable without doing too much short-term damage to the financial system and economy. Mounting concerns that he’ll miscalculate are spreading ever-further beyond China-focused property developers and their suppliers.

“It’s what the Chinese would describe as trying to get off a tiger,” said United First Partners research Justin Tang, best summarizing Beijing's lose-lose dilemma.

Tyler Durden Mon, 09/20/2021 - 15:28
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QC Copper Shares Up 25% After Reporting Mineral Resource Estimates of 1.6 Billion Copper Equivalent Pounds For Opemiska Deposit

QC Copper and Gold Inc. (TSXV: QCCU) shared today the results of its initial mineral resource estimate for the Opemiska deposits…

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QC Copper and Gold Inc. (TSXV: QCCU) shared today the results of its initial mineral resource estimate for the Opemiska Project located in the Chibougamau District of Quebec. The report includes a measured & indicated resource containing 1.6 billion copper equivalent pounds.

The data came from over 1.05 million metres of drilling completed by the firm and the former operators of the project.

The measured & indicated mineral resource estimate consists of 81.67 million tonnes grading at 0.88% copper equivalent. On the other hand, inferred mineral resource estimate comprises 21.35 million tonnes of material grading at 0.73% copper equivalent for 345.8 million pounds. The report has a 0.2% copper equivalent cut-off and base case prices of US$3.50 per copper pound and US$1,650 per gold ounce.

“Leveraging over 1 million metres of drilling completed by QC Copper and previous operators, the current Mineral Resource demonstrates a high degree of confidence with 82% of the Mineral Resource in the M&I classification. We emphasize that this is just the initial Mineral Resource for Opemiska, and that all Mineral Resources we are reporting here are constrained to an optimized open pit,” said QC Copper CEO Stephen Stewart.

QC Copper and Gold last traded at $0.18 on the TSX Venture.

Information for this briefing was found via Sedar and the companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

The post QC Copper Reports Measured & Indicated Resource Of 1.6 Billion Copper Equivalent Pounds For Opemiska Deposit appeared first on the deep dive.

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Energy & Critical Metals

Rio Tinto to triple Weipa solar capacity and add battery storage to help power bauxite mining operations

Rio Tinto has approved a new solar farm and battery storage at Weipa in Queensland, in a move that will more than triple the local electricity network’s…

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Rio Tinto has approved a new solar farm and battery storage at Weipa in Queensland, in a move that will more than triple the local electricity network’s solar generation capacity and help provide cleaner power to Rio Tinto’s operations. The Weipa operations in Far North Queensland includes three bauxite mines, processing facilities, shiploaders, an export wharf, two ports, power stations, a rail network and ferry terminals.

The bauxite mining process is the first step in the production of aluminum. Bauxite ore is found in a layer up to four meters deep in the form of small red pebbles called pisolites. Bauxite is processed into a white powder called alumina, which is then processed at smelters into aluminum.

Under the plans, EDL has been contracted to build, own and operate a 4MW solar plant and 4MW/4MWh of battery storage at Weipa. Work on the battery facilities will start this year, with construction of the whole project expected to be complete by late 2022.

The new solar farm and battery storage will complement the existing 1.6MW solar farm at Weipa, which was completed in 2015 and is also owned and operated by EDL. The 4MWh battery system will be built next to the existing Weipa power station and will help provide a stable power network for Rio Tinto’s Weipa Operations bauxite mines and the Weipa township.

The new solar farm and battery storage at Weipa will help us lower our carbon footprint and diesel use in a reliable way. The original Weipa solar farm was the largest solar facility at an off-grid Australian mine site at the time it was built, and it played an important role in showing the viability of renewable energy systems in remote locations.

The new solar farm and battery storage system is part of Rio Tinto’s group-wide commitment to reduce emissions across our operations. There is clearly more work to be done, but projects like this are an important part of meeting our climate targets.

—Rio Tinto Aluminum Pacific Bauxite Operations General Manager Michelle Elvy

When complete, the combined 4MW solar capacity and 4MW/4MWh battery will provide about 11 gigawatt hours of energy annually. Combined with upgrades to the existing Weipa power generation network, the improvements will reduce Weipa Operations’ diesel consumption by an estimated 7 million liters per year and lower its annual carbon dioxide emissions by about 20,000 tonnes—the equivalent of taking more than 3,750 cars off the road.

Rio Tinto Weipa Operations will purchase electricity from EDL and the new solar plant will be connected directly to the Weipa electricity network.

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