Just two weeks into 2021 exploration at its Black Fly gold project near Atikokan, Ontario, Marvel Discovery Corp (TSXV:MARV, FSE: O4T1, IMTFF:OTC PINKS) has already found success in a collection of sample assays reporting high-grade gold and in one batch, visible gold that assayed an impressive 24.3 grams per tonne Au (gold).
Though rare, there are companies that have nickel sulfide deposits under development. Palladium One’s (TSXV:PDM, FSE: 7N11, OTC:NKORF) Tyko project is located in northwestern Ontario’s Mid-Continent Rift Nickel Province, where previous and current work indicates strong potential for Voisey’s-style (referring to the huge Voisey’s Bay nickel mine in Newfoundland, re-opened in 2020 by Vale) feeder dyke nickel-copper-platinum group element (PGE) mineralization.
China says it has found a way to make “green” nickel chemical for EV batteries from nickel laterite deposits in Indonesia that could help to alleviate the coming supply deficit in the metal that is essential to electric vehicle batteries.
Don’t be fooled. The process itself is extremely polluting, and ‘ocean tailings ponds’ are anything but green. Thankfully car companies aren’t buying it.
Future nickel supply for battery-making is therefore unlikely to come from Indonesia or anywhere else where nickel laterites are mined.
AOTH’s favorite nickel junior is Renforth Resources (CSE:RFR, OTC:RFHRF, WKN:A2H9TN), whose Surimeau nickel sulphide project covers an area of about 260 square kilometers south of the Cadillac Break in Quebec, among current and former producing mines.
One company committed to developing America’s next lithium supply is Cypress Development Corp. (TSX-V: CYP) (OTCQB: CYDVF) (Frankfurt: C1Z1), which presently holds a 100% interest in the Clayton Valley lithium project in southwest Nevada.
One international mining company that is committed to exploring Nevada’s mineral-rich regions is Victory Resources Corp. (CSE: VR) (FWB: VR61) (OTC: VRCFF), which has been actively looking at precious metals opportunities in the state and recently expanded its focus to battery metals.
As base metals prices continue to attract investor interest, I’m keeping a close eye on juniors like Norden Crown, whose Fredriksson Gruva target, and its resemblance to a Broken Hill Type deposit, appears to have the scale, the grades and the consistency of mineralization to interest a major.
The United States is back in the fold of countries pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that is helping to drive demand for an assemblage of metals that a global push to decarbonize and electrify is expected to require.
Renforth Resources Inc. (CSE: RFR) (OTCQB: RFHRF) (FSE: 9RR) continues to deliver good news for shareholders, this week announcing new assay results for the 2020 drill program on its wholly owned Parbec open-pit constrained gold deposit in Quebec.
Meanwhile, Renforth has also been making significant progress at its Surimeau District property (nickel, copper, zinc), a brownfield project covering an area of 215km2 south of the Cadillac Break among current and former producing mines.
The big question is, will there be enough copper for future electrification needs, globally? Plus all the other modern-day uses of copper?
The short answer is no, not without a massive acceleration of copper production worldwide.
Global leaders have set strict decarbonization targets that require green-focused infrastructure built with copper. This, combined with a massive rise in government expenditures and years of underinvestment, has investment bank Goldman Sachs predicting that another commodity super-cycle is on the horizon.
Tinka Resources’ (TSX.V:TK, OTCQB:TKRFF) Ayawilca polymetallic project in Peru just got a whole lot more interesting with the discovery of a new tin zone, that is expected to add significant value to what is already the largest zinc development project in Latin America and one of the biggest zinc resources held by a junior explorer.
“The adage of ‘if it can’t be grown it must be mined’ serves as a reminder that electric vehicles, transitional energy, and a green economy start with metals. The supply chain for batteries, wind turbines, solar panels, electric motors, transmission lines, 5G — everything that is needed for a Green Economy starts with metals and mining. Demand for these metals, principally lithium, nickel and cobalt on the battery side and copper, uranium and rare earth elements on the energy side is expected to rise rapidly.”
Though early stage, the possibility of widespread sulfide nickel mineralization at Surimeau looks promising. The grades and rock value given here are conservative; the 0.224% Ni used to calculate the rock value of US$41.83 per tonne is based on only three intercepts from three holes drilled at Surimeau, less than 200m. Highlights from summer 2020 grab sampling show grades up to 0.495% Ni. If those grades start showing up in drill core, Renforth could really be onto something.
As Victory Resources Corp. (CSE: VR) (FWB: VR61) (OTC: VRCFF) continues to scale up mining operations on multiple properties across North America, the company has made a significant management change to reflect its broadening exploration focus that now includes battery metals.
When looking for an investment, the approach I take involves looking at the global, big picture conditions. I study trends, read the news, basically watch and listen to what’s going on in the world. Then I study the different sectors to select the one (or ones) that I think is going to match up well with the overriding, long-term theme. This is top-down investing.
The second part of my search for the dominant investment is a bottom-up approach. This is where I find individual companies, in the specific sector I have chosen to invest in.
The common denominator for each countries climate action plan is electric vehicles; that’s easy to identify. But whether economies can acquire sufficient raw materials to reach “full electrification” is another story — it's a problem that has yet to be solved.
For years, the US has been heavily reliant on foreign supply of minerals required for key areas such as national defense, electronics and medical equipment, and its EV sector is no different.
Under Trump’s executive order (September 2020), graphite was identified as one of four minerals considered essential to the nation’s “national security, foreign policy and economy.”
Unsurprisingly, many of the base metals, which are invaluable to many sectors of the global economy, are found within Canada’s critical minerals list. Among them is zinc, an essential ingredient used to build our roads, bridges, buildings, and cars.
The Akie property is an advanced exploration project with drill indicated resources owned by Vancouver’s ZincX Resources Corp. (TSXV: ZNX).
Goldman Sachs says that the next structural bull market for commodities will be driven by spending on green energy.
The fossil-fueled based transportation system needs to be electrified, and the switch must be made from oil, gas, and coal-powered power plants to those which run on solar, wind and thorium-produced nuclear energy. If we have any hope of cleaning up the planet, before the point of no return, a massive decarbonization needs to take place.
In a recent report, commodities consultancy Wood Mackenzie said an investment of over $1 trillion will be required in key energy transition metals over the next 15 years, just to meet the growing needs of decarbonization.
The thawing of permafrost is yet another manifestation of climate change, that populations living near it will have to deal with in the coming decades as global warming accelerates, particularly in the polar regions
Mining is often deemed complicit in the rise of greenhouse gas emissions, given its use of heavy machinery and ground disturbance, but in this case, in areas where the ground is permanently frozen but starting to thaw, operations can be negatively impacted, and big miners are having to shell out millions. We have seen the implications of thawing permafrost at Teck’s Red Dog Mine in Alaska, and at Norilsk Nickel’s Oktyabrsky and Taimyrsky mines in Siberia.
The problem is not going away; in fact, there is every indication it will get worse.
It is not very often that every hole of an exploration drill program returns gold intersections as good as or better than expected, but that is exactly what junior miner Getchell Gold Corp. (CSE:GTCH, OTCQB:GGLDF) has done so far from drilling at its Fondaway Canyon project in the world-famous mining state of Nevada.
Last year’s drilling has already shown that the gold mineralization at Fondaway Canyon is thick and broad, with high-grade intervals that were not accounted for in the company’s geological model. The mineralization remains open, and every indication shows that it could continue.
The significant potential for extensions is likely to be investigated further in this year’s exploration program, as Getchell continues its path towards building ounces at what it believes could be another Carlin-style gold system.
Peru-focused Tinka Resources (TSXV:TK, OTCP:TKRFF) has the backing of a major player in the Peruvian zinc and silver market, adding significant heft to its flagship Ayawilca zinc-silver play.
Nexa Resources (TSX:NEXA), one of the world’s largest zinc producers, and owner of the only zinc smelter in Peru, purchased 28.895 million common shares from an arms-length shareholder, giving the Luxembourg-based firm an 8.8% stake in Tinka.
The transaction means Tinka Resources now has two major miners as shareholders — the other being Buenaventura SA (NYSE:BVN) — along with JP Morgan UK.
North America relies heavily on foreign supplies of critical minerals — the raw materials it needs to become a leader in high technology, transportation, energy, and defense. Materials like lithium, graphite, and tin.
For years, the United States and Canada did not bother to explore for these minerals and build mines. Globalization brought with it the mentality that all countries are free traders, and friends. Dirty mining and processing? NIMBY. Let China do it, let the DRC do it, let whoever do it.
China recognized opportunity knocking and answered the door
Renforth Resources (CSE:RFR, OTC:RFHRF, WKN:A2H9TN) continues to make good progress on its Parbec gold project in Quebec, releasing a cache of drill results to the market on Tuesday, March 9.
The highlight from was 21.45 meters grading 5.57 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, between 254.8m and 276.2m meters in hole PAR-20-112. Two higher-grade sub intervals returned 6.27 g/t Au over 16.7m and 37.3 g/t Au over 1m.
Mainstream media and the large mining companies are finally catching on to what we at AOTH have been saying for the past two years: the copper market is heading for a severe supply shortage due to a perfect storm of under-exploration/ lack of discovery of new deposits, clashing with a huge increase in demand due to electrification and decarbonization.
Copper is trading over $4.00 a pound this year on rapidly tightening physical markets, rebounding economic growth especially in China, the top metals consumer, and the expectation that the era of low inflation in key economies may soon be over.