Mining Brief: Copper Mine Production Increasing While Gold Prices Rise
Palm Beach, FL – September 22, 2020 – Copper and gold are both very ‘hot’ commodities during this… or actually in spite of… the growing global pandemic. The prices in both are projected to continue to grow but there are differences. Copper demand is growing which should increase mining operations… while increasing gold mining is not the driver of the increasing demand but gold’s rise will primarily be driven by the global uncertainty fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Global copper mine production will see steady growth over the next few years, as a number of new projects and expansions come online, supported by rising copper prices and demand, Fitch Solutions forecasts in a new report. The Fitch analysts in Mining.com predict: “global copper mine production to increase by an average annual rate of 3.1% over 2020-2029, with total output rising from 20.3 to 26.8 million tonnes over the same period.” Fitch found that the US copper miners are better positioned financially than operators in other markets, having worked to cut operating costs and increase profitability over recent years. In the longer term, Fitch believes copper outlook in the country will recover, driven by a rise in copper prices and continued foreign investment which will be lured by the country’s high-grade reserves. Active stocks in the mining markets this week include QMC Quantum Minerals Corp., (TSX-V: QMC) (OTCPK: QMCQF), Equinox Gold Corp. (NYSE: EQX) (TSX: EQX), Eclipse Gold Mining Corporation (OTCPK: EGLPF) (TSX-V: EGLD), B2Gold Corp. (NYSE: BTG) (TSX: BTO), IAMGOLD Corporation (NYSE: IAG) (TSX: IMG).
But copper prices are also increasing. A recent analysis this past July from Zacks Investment Research posted to Yahoo.com, indicated the price of copper rose by 11 percent in June, and the “uptrend can be attributed to optimism over financial stimulus and strong demand in China, which is the top consumer, amid growing fears of disruption in copper output in Chile.” Another by Reuters columnist Andy Home wrote July 14 that “hedge funds are starting to buy into the rally in copper,” and that London Metal Exchange (LME) copper hit a two-year high of $6,633 per metric ton Monday, July 13. Home added, “At a current $6,490, it is now up 5 percent on levels at the start of the year, having clawed back all its COVID-19 losses.” Turning to gold, a recent article in Fox Business said that gold could each and maybe stay above the $2,200/oz threshold. It said: “Gold prices are set to spring higher after more than a month of moving sideways, according to one analyst. Drivers include a positive technical backdrop and the likelihood of sustained low interest rates in the world’s largest economies that may prompt investors to seek better returns in other “safe haven” investments. Gold has “worked off the momentum, sentiment and positioning extremes seen at the peak and looks set to resume its uptrend” wrote Laurence Balanco of Hong Kong-based capital markets and investment group CLSA Ltd…. “We would look at adding new long gold positions,” Balanco said.
QMC Quantum Minerals Corp. (TSX-V: QMC) (OTCPK: QMCQF) BREAKING NEWS: QMC PLANS WORK PROGRAM FOR ITS GOLD-COPPER-ZINC PROJECT – QMC Quantum Minerals Corp., (“QMC” or “the Company”), is pleased to announce an update on its Rocky Lake and Rocky-Namew volcanic massive sulphide (“VMS”) properties.
- World-Class Flin Flon-Snow Lake region home to 11 mines, including Hudbay Minerals Inc.’s (“HBM”) Lalor Mine and 31 VMS deposits.
- 41 identified gold-copper-zinc targets;
- Drilling confirmed a 1,000 metre long target with visible chalcopyrite in drill core;
- Easily accessible to excellent infrastructure;
The Company has initiated planning of the proposed 2021 work program on its 100% owned VMS properties located in the mineral-rich Flin Flon-Snow Lake Area of Central Manitoba. These properties, the Rocky Lake and the Rocky-Namew, are known collectively as the Namew Lake District Project.
To date, QMC has completed a significant amount of work on the project, including Geotech’s Versatile Time Domain Electromagnetic (“VTEM”) system survey which outlined 41 targets. Detailed re-interpretation of the VTEM data by Maxwell Modelling on the main Rocky Lake massive sulphide target showed the presence of a deep-seated conductor (target). This conductor is at least 1,000 metres long and at a depth of 200 metres.
Four drill holes tested the conductor with two drill holes confirming the top of the conductor, intersecting massive sulphide mineralization at a vertical depth of 193 metres. The drill holes confirmed the presence of massive sulphide mineralization with visible chalcopyrite. Based on the results, it is reasonable to assume that there could be potential for a deposit scale mineralization. A NI 43-101 technical report entitled Rocky Lake Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) Project and dated March 20, 2013, can be found under QMC’s profile on SEDAR website at www.sedar.com.
The project is located immediately west of Provincial Highway 10, 65km northwest of the town of The Pas and 40km south of the mining center and former smelter at Flin Flon. The property is accessible year-round by 4-wheel drive and by all-terrain vehicles, and the Hudson’s Bay rail line is east of the property. Important infrastructure including access, goods, services and supplies are readily available.
Hudson Bay Mining and Smelting/Outokumpu Oy’s former Namew Lake Nickel-Copper Mine is located 11 km northwest of the Namew Lake District Project. Prior to its closure, this mine produced 2.57 million tonnes grading 0.63% Cu and 1.79% Ni, and 0.1 g/t Au, 4.1 g/t Ag, 0.5 g/t Pd, and 0.6 g/t Pt.
The Flin Flon-Snow Lake region has been an extremely productive mining camp, having produced numerous VMS deposits since the initial copper production began at the Mandy Mine in 1916. The Flin Flon Greenstone Belt hosts 11 mines and 31 developed VMS deposits, many of which host exceptionally high gold (Au) content. Included within these deposits are the Flin Flon Mine (62.5Mt @ 2.7g Au/t) and the Lalor Mine (9.9Mt @ 5.7 g Au/t in the Au zone).
HBM’s Lalor mine is located east of Flin Flon, in the Snow Lake area of Manitoba and north east of the Rocky Namew Project reported reserves of 19.4Mt grading 3.15% zinc, 4.22g/t gold, 0.85% copper and 27.55g/t silver (reference: HBM news release of March 30, 2020). Read this release for the QMC Quantum Minerals Corp. news at: https://www.financialnewsmedia.com/news-qmc/
See a full report on QMC by visiting https://wallstnow.com/2020/09/22/undiscovered-juniorresource-company-stumbles-upon-potentially-massive-gold-deposit-missed-bymining-giant/
Other recent developments in the markets include:
Equinox Gold Corp. (TSX: EQX) (NYSE: EQX) recently announced that construction of the Phase 1 mine at its Castle Mountain Gold Mine in California is complete, irrigation of the leach pad is underway and first gold pour is expected in Q4-2020.
Equinox Gold commenced construction of the Phase 1 mine at Castle Mountain on October 30, 2019. Construction is complete with no lost-time incidents. Photos of the Phase 1 mine are included at the end of this news release. Equinox Gold commenced pre-production mining in early June and has stacked more than 1.4 million tonnes of ore on the leach pad to date. Commissioning of the plant is in the final stages and irrigation of the leach pad commenced on September 16, 2020. Loaded carbon from Castle Mountain will be processed in the carbon stripping and smelting plant at the Company’s Mesquite Mine, 200 miles south in California, resulting in increased operating efficiencies for both mines. Christian Milau, CEO of Equinox Gold, commented: “Castle Mountain will be Equinox Gold’s seventh producing gold mine in the Americas and our second operating mine in California. We expect Castle Mountain to be a long-life flagship asset for Equinox Gold, bringing significant benefits to our workforce, shareholders, local communities and San Bernardino County.”
Eclipse Gold Mining Corporation (TSX-V: EGLD) (OTCPK: EGLPF) recently announced the mobilization of a second drill rig at its Hercules Gold Project in Nevada’s Walker Lane trend. This second reverse circulation drill rig will accelerate the Company’s Phase II program, which is planned to comprise 18 holes totaling approximately 6,750 meters.
To date, the Company has completed 1,517 metres over five holes in Phase II drilling. The drill program was designed to test for possible extensions of known mineralization and test geophysical targets. For further details of the Phase II drill program, please see the Company’s August 18, 2020 news release.
Eclipse Gold Mining is exploring the district-scale Hercules gold property within Nevada’s Walker Lane trend. The Hercules property is located only a one-hour drive from Reno and appears to have all the characteristics of a large, low-sulphidation epithermal gold system. The Company brings together a team with collective funding of over $2 billion in both strong and weak markets, and a track record of at least nine successful buyouts/exits.
B2Gold Corp. (TSX: BTO) (NYSE: BTG) announced additional positive exploration drilling results from the Cardinal and FMZ zones near Fekola, and the Mamba zone in the Anaconda area. Highlights included: New high-grade drill results from the Cardinal and FMZ zones extend the mineralization to over 3.5 kilometres along strike, continuing to indicate potential for additional gold deposits near the Fekola mine, with additional potential at depth and along strike; Resource infill drilling completed at the Cardinal zone, with an initial Inferred Mineral Resource estimate expected in the first quarter of 2021; Additional high-grade drill intercepts at the Mamba zone extend the mineralized zone by over one kilometre, to a total known strike length of approximately 2.2 kilometres (20 kilometres north of Fekola); Resource infill drilling at the Mamba zone in the Anaconda area approximately 90% complete, with an updated mineral resource estimate for the Anaconda area expected by the end of the fourth quarter of 2020; The Fekola deposit remains open to the north.
IAMGOLD Corporation (TSX: IMG) (NYSE: IAG), together with joint venture (“JV”) partner Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd. (“SMM”), recently announced the official ground-breaking for the Côté Gold Project (“Côté”, or the “Project”) took place on Friday, September 11, 2020.
President and CEO Gordon Stothart announced, “This ground-breaking symbolizes the construction start of the Côté Gold Project, a project which will be a model for modern Canadian mining. Côté is transformational for our local community and First Nations stakeholders, project partners, employees and IAMGOLD, bringing economic benefits to the region while utilizing sophisticated technology and ensuring the health and safety of all. We are grateful for the support of the federal, provincial and local governments, and delighted to host this ceremony alongside the Prime Minister of Canada, Premier of Ontario, MP Marc Serré, MPP Michael Mantha, Chief Chad Boissoneau from Mattagami First Nation and Chief Murray Ray from Flying Post First Nation, Minister John Yakabuski and Minister Greg Rickford.”
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