DRC miners hopeful new code issues can be resolved

Miners operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) said Monday they were hopeful their current talks with civil society, a member of the mining code revision tri-partite group and other key interested groups, would help iron out issues that need to be dealt with before the country’s new mining code is implemented.

The group, which includes Randgold Resources, Glencore, Ivanhoe Mines, Zijin Mining Group, MMG, Crystal River Global and China Molybdenum Co and AngloGold Ashanti, proposed last month that a sliding scale of royalty rates be linked to the prices of key commodities, copper, cobalt and gold. However, they have yet to receive a response from the ministry of mines.

The likes of Glencore, Randgold, Zijin, China Molybdenum and Ivanhoe, among others, expect authorities to realize the sliding scale they propose would be a more effective mechanism for the government to share in higher commodity prices than the new code’s provisions.

The miners, which collectively are responsible for 85% of the DRC’s copper, cobalt and gold output, are asking the government to explicitly preserve mining agreements it entered into before the new code was signed into a law in early March.

The revised regulation imposes a super-profits tax of 50% if prices rise by 25% above those used in a mine’s feasibility study, as well as a hike in royalty rates, particularly for metals deemed as “strategic” by the DRC.

The companies said the sliding scale they propose would be a more effective mechanism for the government to share in higher commodity prices than the windfall tax and strategic minerals scheme included in the new code.

“The industry believes a way forward could be found which would be in the best interests of all parties,” they said in a collective statement. “A mutually acceptable solution would support and encourage the substantial investment the DRC requires for the optimal development of its mineral resources and the growth of its economy.”

Congo supplies more than 60% of the world’s cobalt, metal whose price has quadrupled in two years, and that share will only grow over the medium term. It is also could poised to soon overtake the US as the world’s number four copper producer.

Both commodities are key components in computer chips, mobile phones and lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles (EVs).

Experts, such as Colin Hamilton, director of commodities research at BMO Capital Markets, believe that cobalt consumers will be the most affected by the higher taxes imposed to producers and exporters in Congo.

“Given the tight nature of the cobalt market at present, we would expect miners to attempt to pass through higher royalty costs to consumers,” Hamilton said.

The post DRC miners hopeful new code issues can be resolved appeared first on MINING.com.

…read more

Diamond Stock Set to Put in a Sparkling Performance

Source: Clive Maund for Streetwise Reports 04/23/2018

Technical analyst Clive Maund charts a diamond company that he rates a strong speculative buy.

If you are a speculator or trader who doesn’t like to wait weeks or months for an investment to pay off and wants to see results within days or even hours, this one is for you.

Lithoquest Diamonds Inc. (LDI:TSX.V) blasted higher around the start of the month with a gap move on massive volume, due to news of a discovery, as we can see on its latest 6-month chart below, and after continuing higher for a few days to become extremely overbought short-term, the usual reaction set in, which brought it back towards what is now strong support in the C$0.44–C$0.47 zone. This reaction has the classic signature of a countertrend reaction in a fast moving market, as it has been accompanied by a rapid die back in volume and a convergence of the price oscillations into an increasingly tight range—in other words it is a fine example of a bull Flag or Pennant within a powerful uptrend, which means it should lead to another sharp upleg very soon. Another bullish indication on this 6-month chart is that both of its volume indicators have remained elevated as the correction has occurred.

The 3-month chart enables us to see what is going on in a little more detail, and gives us an opportunity to append the RSI and MACD indicators to the chart. The former has already almost completely neutralized and while the latter, the MACD, has a long way to go before it has, its histogram has already corrected all the way back to the zero line and in a fast moving situation like this, that is enough to create the conditions for another upleg.

This bull market in Lithoquest began with a large gap on massive volume, and the rule is that the bigger the gap and the higher the volume, the more bullish it is. It is most unusual for a move like that to lead to a “flash in the pan” advance—normally it leads to a bull market that lasts for many months and sometimes years. This is another big reason why it is likely to advance from here.

Lithoquest is rated an immediate strong speculative buy, and risk may be limited by placing a stop below the apex of the outer Pennant—outer because a breakdown from the inner one would not spoil the pattern, and we can see that there is strong support at and above C$0.50. Lithoquest trades in hopelessly light volumes on the U.S. OTC market where for this reason it should be avoided. There are 45.9 million shares in issue.

Many years ago the Diamond Marketing Board or whatever they called themselves did an excellent job of connecting diamonds with the proposal of marriage, so that young men intent on this …read more

Urban Mining Twins Update

Source: Clive Maund for Streetwise Reports 04/23/2018

Technical analyst Clive Maund discusses two companies that have developed a process to extract minerals from E-waste.

On 15th March it was decided it was best to step aside from Enviroleach Technologies Inc. (ETI:CSE) and Mineworx Technologies Ltd. (MWX:TSX.V; MWXRF:OTCQB), because it looked like the correction that was already well underway by then would continue and result in us being able to buy them back at a better price. This has since proved to be the case, although we are “slow off the mark” with Enviroleach, which could have been bought back late in March at a very good price just above C$1.00. Nevertheless they are looking very good again now, for the reasons we will briefly look at. There is no reason to talk about the positive fundamentals of these stocks because they were discussed earlier.

Starting with Enviroleach, an 11-month chart enables us to view the entire price track from last May–June, and to delineate its strong uptrend, which is believed to remain in force for good reason—because the volume pattern continues to be strongly bullish, which is why the Accum-Distrib line continues to make new highs. This is very bullish and points to a new upleg dead ahead, and in fact it has already started, even though the price has yet to break out of the corrective downtrend channel—it started right after what is believed to be the low for the correction late in March. Other bullish factors to observe are momentum (MACD) turning higher and the bullishly aligned moving averages.

The 6-month chart for Enviroleach enables us to see recent action in more detail, and in particular that Friday’s candlestick, because of its position, looks like a bull hammer, especially as most of the volume was upside volume, which is why the Accum line advanced further. This chart also makes direct comparison with the Mineworx chart lower down the page more easy, because it is for the same timeframe.

On the 6-month chart for Mineworx we see that we have a somewhat better entry point to buy back than with Enviroleach, because it is still not far above the low of its corrective downtrend. This is a good point to pick it up again, because it is just above a zone of support which itself is just above its rising 200-day moving average. Momentum (MACD) has just turned higher indicating that a new uptrend should now start, and we have a bullish volume pattern with recent light volume indicating that the correction is done and a strong Accum line making new highs, suggesting that another upleg is in the works.

Conclusion: it’s a good time to buy back both Enviroleach and Mineworx in the reasonable expectation of a new upleg getting underway soon, which should be sizeable and result in good gains.

Enviroleach Technologies website.

Enviroleach Technologies Inc, ETI. CSX, …read more

Is a New Gold Rush On in Brazil?

Source: Streetwise Reports 04/23/2018

With a project located on the site of a massive gold rush, this explorer is attempting to find the hard-rock source of the region’s placer gold, and an updated resource is expected any day.

The land that Cabral Gold Inc.’s (CBR:TSX.V; CBGZF:OCT) Cuiu Cuiu gold project sits on was once the territory of garimperos, migrating miners who came during the massive Brazilian gold rush of 1978-1995 and panned for gold. It’s believed that the garimperos mined some 2 million ounces of placer gold in the area which would make it the largest placer camp in the entire region. The hard-rock source of all that gold has never been identified, but Cabral Gold Inc. is focused on fixing that.

Last month, Cabral came one step closer with the announcement on March 21 that it has identified several new high-grade targets on the Cuiu Cuiu property in northern Brazil.

The company explained that the “initial 2018 campaign of work involves trenching, mapping, auger sampling, soil sampling, and rock sampling in areas of recent and abandoned artisanal workings.”

Cabral highlighted the following results:

Select results from reconnaissance rock sampling on new targets include:

264.0 g/t gold from the Germano target.
80.1 g/t gold from the Vila Rica target
17.7 g/t gold from the Belisca Lua target

Initial channel sampling returned:

0.5m @ 43.3g/t gold at the Vila Rica target
5m @ 3.16g/t gold at the Jerimum de Cima target

The only area of that five that has seen historical drilling is the Jerimum de Cima target. Cabral noted that among the 13 holes drilled there included results of 39m @ 5.13g/t gold and 18m @ 1.17g/t gold.

Back in 2011, a previous operator of the project identified an Indicated resource of 0.1 million ounces gold and an Inferred resource of 1.2 million ounces. Cabral noted that it is updating that resource estimate to include drilling performed after 2011 and expects to release it soon.

The company expects to begin drilling in June.

The region has grabbed the attention of other miners. Cuiu Cuiu is near Eldorado’s Tocantinzinho’s project, which has Measured and Indicated resources of 2.1 million ounces.

Neighboring Mato Grosso state has seen a staking rush recently, with Anglo American and Nexa Resources acquiring more than 3 million hectares of land in September and Altamira Gold announcing the additional acquisition of 52,000 hectares. According to Altamira Gold, “the catalyst for this staking rush is a rumored porphyry copper discovery in the eastern part of the Juruena Belt.”

Cabral has caught the attention of industry observers. Brien Lundin, in the April issue of Gold Newsletter, finds that Cabral has a “near-ideal combination of near-term and long-term price catalysts.”

On the new resource estimate that is expected shortly, Lundin states, “Just how much this new estimate will grow the resource is unknown, but the underlying data suggest it will be substantial. If so, the estimate’s release could be a short-term catalyst for …read more

German researchers say mining intensifies social conflicts in Peru

A group of researchers from Berlin’s Humboldt University published a study where they say that mining activities are the leading cause of social conflicts in Peru.

According to the study, which is titled “Alternatives for the development of Peru’s mining regions,” one of the reasons that explains the unrest is the fact that the country’s economic policies do not allow for a large royalty collection from resource extraction and, therefore, there are few opportunities to reinvest those funds in mining cities and towns. On top of that, the experts say that the fall in commodity prices in the past years has worsened the situation.

Interviewed by Deutsche Welle, the mining and development advisor for the German episcopal organization Misereor, Susanne Pries, said that for the past 20 years most community groups in the South American country have been complaining about mining activities polluting their environment, poisoning them, displacing people and intensifying poverty.

Together with local NGO Red Muqui, Misereor’s team visited the northwestern Cajamarca region and, while observing the expansion project of a gold mine, they witnessed how the town of 130,000 people is competing with companies for water resources. This creates environmental conflicts that even though are balanced out by the regional government’s stand on regulating mining operations, are always present due to the antagonistic position of the federal government.

The experts expressed concerns over the fact that some firms are mining up to 660 metres deep, where the water table falls, and thus entire towns run out of water.

In the central Junin region, on the other hand, they noticed how half of the residents make a living by working in the mining industry while the other half do so in agriculture. The two worlds, they write, also tend to collide because everyone wants to have access to the Mantaro river, which is one of the tributaries of the Amazon river.

The German-Peruvian report states that if this situation is allowed to continue, the environmental consequences may go beyond the country’s borders and might affect the continent’s freshwater reserves.

The authors criticize the fact that the National Service of Agrarian Health, which is supposed to inspect and regulate mining operations, is led by someone with deep connections in the mining industry.

Peru is the world’s No.2 copper producer and the sixth largest producer of gold.

The post German researchers say mining intensifies social conflicts in Peru appeared first on MINING.com.

…read more

Blue diamond ring breaks world record

A cut-cornered rectangular step-cut fancy intense blue diamond weighing 3.47 carats set a price-per-carat world record for a blue diamond after it sold for $1.9 million per carat to reach almost $6.7 million at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels Auction.

The gem’s final price nearly tripled Sotheby’s pre-sale estimate of between $2 million and $2.5 million and pushed up the auction final results to $26.2 million. The blue rock was previously owned by an anonymous midwestern family.

In total, the fine jewelry broker garnered $34 million across its New York spring auctions, says Rapaport.

According to Sotheby’s, buyers from all over the world flooded the Big Apple also emptied their wallets by acquiring a 72.96-carat diamond bracelet for $1.4 million and a 13.70-carat Tiffany & Co. diamond ring for $1.2 million.

The post Blue diamond ring breaks world record appeared first on MINING.com.

…read more

Deep-sea mining: scientists say collaboration is key

Researchers from the University of California San Diego and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are advocating for collaborations between academia and industry when it comes to finding a balance between exploiting mineral resources from the seabed and protecting vulnerable marine ecosystems.

Matthew Alford, a physical oceanographer with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the UC -San Diego, and Thomas Peacock, director of the Environmental Dynamics Laboratory at the MIT, are making the call following a field study investigating potential impacts of extracting minerals such as cobalt, copper, and nickel from the deep-sea.

According to a university press release, the two conducted a simulation of sediment plumes that would be created by seabed mining. From onboard research vessel Sally Ride and using samples obtained from a proposed mining area in the deep Pacific Ocean, they ejected plumes of particle-laden water like those that would be produced during such operations. Their goal was to understand how the plume disperses in the water column between the surface and the seafloor. From these data, researchers can assess how such plumes can affect marine life and over what distance.

Researchers Matthew Alford (left) and Thomas Peacock. Photo by UC.

Alford and Peacock see the access to this information as the key link that should connect researchers and industry. “A key consideration regarding seabed mining is the role of sediment plumes. Using a combination of the latest ocean measurement techniques and modeling, and collaborating with ocean biologists, we can help determine their impact as regulations are being developed,” Alford said.

The researcher and his teammate emphasized that in addition to the involvement of academic researchers, the International Seabed Authority should be part of all seabed mining projects to make sure that operations take place on a limited scale.

The ISA, the U.S. Geological Survey, and a private company, Global Sea Mineral Resources, all participated in the Sally Ride cruise in what the researchers consider a model of collaboration going forward.

The post Deep-sea mining: scientists say collaboration is key appeared first on MINING.com.

…read more

Caledonia wants to expand in Zimbabwe

Investors are encouraging Africa-focused Caledonia Mining (TSE:CAL) to expand operations in Zimbabwe, given the new political climate in the southern country.

Following the ousting of president Robert Mugabe, the new Emmerson Mnangagwa administration decided to knock out the rule that established that all mines had to be 51 per cent owned by Zimbabweans. Only diamond and platinum assets must comply with the order now.

Given this new scenario, Caledonia’s head of corporate development Maurice Mason told Reuters that the company has plans to work on mines that had previously been forced to shut because of a lack of investment.

In parallel, the Jersey-based miner wants to boost output to about 80,000 ounces a year so it is investing $4 million over the next 18 months to explore the area around its 49-per cent owned Blanket project.

The gold mine, which is located in the southwestern region of Zimbabwe, reported 16,425 ounces of gold produced in the last quarter of 2017, which was a record for Caledonia. Total 2017 gold production was approximately 56,135 ounces, marginally ahead of the previously announced production guidance of 54,000 – 56,000 ounces, while target production for 2018 is between 55,000 and 59,000 ounces.

The company is also negotiating the possibility of buying the government’s 16 per cent stake in Blanket.

The post Caledonia wants to expand in Zimbabwe appeared first on MINING.com.

…read more

Whither Silver from Here?

Source: Michael Ballanger for Streetwise Reports 04/22/2018

Precious metals expert Michael Ballanger describes why he thinks the upcoming week will be “favorable” for silver investors.

First, this has been a spectacular month for me in that I was fortunate enough to have parlayed the profits from the UVXY trade successfully, having bought a whackload of call options in the Physical Silver ETF (SLV:US) and a 300-lot of the Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. (FSM:NYSE; FVI:TSX; FVI:BVL; F4S:FSE) May $5 calls. As I wrote earlier in the week, I think we are seeing the biggest dislocation between any two assets in decades with the current ratio of gold to silver. For gold to be threatening a multiyear breakout of the $1,375 resistance while silver atrophies in the mid-$16s was , at least to me, absurd.

And absurd it was, as the GTSR (gold to silver ratio) hit 86 late last week and now resides at slightly above 78. I placed a rather large bet on silver outperforming gold on Tuesday, with the ratio at 82.3:1, so at 78.06 to close out the week and the SLV calls up 80% with RSI still only 63.25, it feels like we are going to ring the register shortly despite the modest setback today.

As bullish as I might like to think that silver is, I have been forced to look the creature called “greed” straight in the eye and deal with him. Painfully, embarrassingly, over the years, I have learned that it is exactly at the point where the PMs appear to be ready to “explode” that I have committed the greatest of human errors by letting hope override common sense. When hope overrides common sense, you are immersed in “hopium,” the most insidious of all narcotics found in bloodstreams of failed traders.

You will recall when I analyzed the gold sector at the end of January and warned that the Commercials were going to “allow” the gold price to briefly “break out,” only to entrap the Large Specs and then disembowel them. That is exactly what they did. At that time I was long NUGT and JNUG and a boatload of calls, and I was looking to make a huge score with NUGT moving to the 2016 highs around $50.

Well, the COT structure was suspect and there was just too much chirping from the gold newsletter writers about the “200-dma” (all in CAPS and with numerous exclamation marks), and sure enough, I sold my calls when the NUGT first popped through the 200-dma around $32. It was a decent “pass” but by no means a “life-changer,” and I was thoroughly ready to do an on-purpose alcohol overdose to end all pain when the NUGT proceeded to $37 and the calls I just sold for a double became a quadruple.

The angst in late January was unbearable because I made the “call” in December and was …read more

Canadian miner eyes New Zealand’s gold

Vancouver-based Full Metal Minerals (TSXV: FMM) announced today that it has entered into a Share Purchase Agreement with Australia’s Evolution Mining (EVN-ASX) to buy out the Puhipuhi Gold Project, located in the Northland region of the North Island of New Zealand.

In a press release, Full Metal explained that Puhipuhi is an exploration stage epithermal gold project where high grade Au and Ag has been intercepted by drilling at localities over 2 km apart including 2 m at 17g/t Au and 15 g/t Ag, 0.6 m at 23.4 g/t Au and 146 g/t Ag and 2 m at 12.4 g/t Au and 85.0 g/t Ag. A 28 m vein intercept was also detected, but it hasn’t been followed up by subsequent drilling.

The company also said that it considers this deposit analog to Oceana Gold’s Waihi Mine, a low sulphidation epithermal gold-silver deposit that has been in modern production since 1988, is also located on the North Island of New Zealand and whose 2018 guidance is 75-85,000 ounces of gold.

Under the terms of the purchase agreement, the Canadian miner will provide Evolution with an initial cash payment of $50,000 at closing. In addition, the Full Metal has agreed to pay up to $275,000 upon Evolution NZ entering into a new or amended access agreement with certain surface rights owners; $250,000 upon exploration expenditures of $2,000,000 being incurred; $250,000 upon cumulative exploration expenditures of $4,000,000 being incurred; $500,000 upon completion of a NI 43-101 compliant technical report containing an estimate of mineral resources of at least 500,000 oz. gold; $1,750,000 upon completion of a feasibility study; and $2,500,000 upon commencement of commercial production.

The post Canadian miner eyes New Zealand’s gold appeared first on MINING.com.

…read more

How gold is improving cancer treatment

Researchers at the University of Queensland have developed new nanotechnology that includes gold particles and that is aimed at monitoring the diversity of individual cancer cells circulating in the body.

The groundbreaking technique was tested on blood samples from melanoma patients and was able to track critical changes in spreading tumour cells before, during and after treatment.

“We have developed a simple technology which uses a special type of gold nanoparticle attached to different antibodies, which can stick to different proteins on a wide variety of circulating tumour cells. These nanoparticles emit a unique barcoded signal when hit with laser light, and this signal changes ever so slightly if that nanoparticle encounters a circulating tumor cell and sticks to it, making them easy to detect,” said UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology PhD student Jing Wang in a media statement.

Professor Matt Trau and PhD student Jing Wang. Photo by University of Queensland.

Circulating tumour cells or CTCs are cells that have been shed by the original tumour and entered the bloodstream, which means that they can then form into new tumours if they lodge in distant tissue. These cells are difficult to detect with existing techniques, which are designed to only identify one type of CTC protein at a time.

This is where Wang’s proposal comes in. In the case of the melanoma sample patients, the technology successfully tracked in real-time how the diversity of tumour cell populations were changing in response to particular therapies for all of the patients studied, and was highly predictive of treatment effectiveness and patient outcomes.

According to Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute’s Medical Director Jonathan Cebon, having information about changes at a cellular level can help identify signs of drug resistance and this, in turn, can help doctors and patients make informed decisions about treatment.

The post How gold is improving cancer treatment appeared first on MINING.com.

…read more