RGN Vol 8 Iss 6

Page 1

RESOURCE Volume 8, Issue 6 5


Mining, renewable energy and oil & gas worldwide

on-site at

LONDON 2021 Just as you remember it, but better



11-13 January 2022, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia King Abdulaziz International Conference Center

Investing in Lands of Opportunity The future global economy will be low carbon requiring complex technologies like electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines. These innovations are powered by mined materials such as copper, zinc, tin, tungsten and lithium.

Register your interest at




Global Speakers and Thought Leaders


The world needs new 'lands of opportunity' to meet the exponential demand growth in a sustainable way.


Brought to you by the Kingdom of Saudi Araba, the inaugural Future Minerals Summit offers a one-stop-shop for investors looking to get in on the ground floor of the many opportunities available across the Middle East, Central Asia, and North and East Africa.

Saudi Arabian Ministers

Mining Majors and Mining Corporates


International Investors

International Ministers

Mining Leaders

H.R.H. Abdulaziz bin H.E. Tarek El Molla Salman Al Saud Minister of Petroleum

Mark Bristow

H.H. Faisal bin Farhan H.E. Bekmurzaev Doskul Al-Saud

Robert Friedland

Minister of Energy

Minister of Foreign Affairs

H.E. Khalid Al-Falih Minister of Investment

H.E. Bandar Al-Khorayef Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources


H.E. Yasir

Al-Rumayyan President and and Mineral Resources Chief Executive Officer Governor, Public Investment Fund Barrick Gold Egypt Saudi Arabia

Minister of Energy and

Industry Kyrgysz Republic

H.E. Gwede Mantashe Minister for Mineral Resources South Africa

2,000+ Attendees




Rohitesh Dhawan President and Chief Executive Officer International Council on Mining and Metals

Eric Cantor

David Tait

Vice Chairman and Managing Director Moelis and Co

Chief Executive Officer World Gold Council

Joc O’Rourke

Thomas Kaplan

John Fennell

President and Chief Executive Officer The Mosaic Company

Chairman Novagold

Chief Executive Officer International Copper Association Australia

Ross Bhappu

Wendy Tyrrell

Founder and Co-Chairman Ivanhoe Mines

H.E. Beibut Atamkulov Jeffrey Dawes Minister of Industry and President and Chief Infrastructural Executive Officer Development Komatsu Mining Corp Kazakhstan

# FMS # FMS2022 # FutureMineralsSummit

Executive Director, Partner and Head of Private Equity Development Partner Resource Capital Funds institute


Cleantech metals and ESG dominate the mining industry agenda in 2021

W Jacob Ambrose Willson Editor

Executive Team Editor Jacob Ambrose Willson Content Director (APAC and Americas) David Hunter ICT Director Stuart Clark Managing Director Simon Curran

RGN is published by Anderson Murray Media: a diverse media and information services company focused on creating and distributing engaging content to business leaders across the globe. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Whilst every effort is made to ensure accuracy the publisher and editor cannot be held responsible for any inaccurate information supplied and/or published. Copyright: The copyright for all material published in this magazine is strictly reserved.

Anderson Murray Media Fulham Green, 69-79 Fulham High Street, Main Reception, Bedford House, London SW6 3JW | Tel. +44 (0)207 148 5630

hile a large number of global citizens entered 2021 in lockdown to prevent the spread of a new wave of COVID-19, the general mood among governments, businesses and across capital markets was that the dawn of the new year would herald a much-needed economic recovery from the pandemic, as vaccination programmes began in earnest. This determination was also evident in the global mining sector, which began 2021 riding the tail winds of newly elected US President Joe Biden’s pledge to spend US$2 trillion on ‘green infrastructure’. Biden’s trendy ‘build back better’ mindset, coupled with an increasing drive to electrify key areas of the global economy (chiefly power and transport) as part of a coordinated decarbonisation effort, continued to bolster base and battery metals prices throughout the year. Copper – seemingly the most indispensable metal for the world’s hopes of a green future – touched a new price high in May of $10,476 a tonne, based on rising demand for the conductive metal and global supply shortages. The price has remained at this level heading into the last weeks of the year, with analysts pointing to more growth as the market further tightens. Lithium prices have also been supercharged by analogous supply and demand dynamics taking hold in 2021. In China, lithium carbonate had doubled by March, and SQM - the world’s second largest lithium miner – said recently it expected another 50% rise in the last three months of

the year, driven by rapidly increasing demand from battery manufacturers and the electric vehicle sector. The undercurrent behind these skyrocketing prices is a realisation of the need to increase cleantech metals production (by up to seven times according to some studies) in order to meet demand from the burgeoning green economy. However, the sector has also reached a broad consensus on the need for every mining company to prove their ESG credentials. The credence of the ESG thematic, stretching across the entire mining value chain, was consistently underlined at the recent Mines and Money London event, which marked a triumphant return to in-person conferencing after two years of virtual networking. You can read a full review from the two-day event in the ensuing pages, after RGN provided live coverage. RGN’s last issue of 2021 is also our annual ‘best of’ publication, where we put forward a selection of top performing mining companies featured in the magazine throughout the year. We believe that the eight features reprinted in this issue strongly reflect the themes that dominated the sector over the last 12 months. I’d like to extend a huge thanks to all our featured companies, contributors and readers over the course of 2021. Season’s greetings and I hope to see some of you at the Future Minerals Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia next month!

Jacob Ambrose Willson jacob@resourceglobalnetwork.com

a j r

CONTENTS NEWS 6 Global resources news Our selection of mining, oil & gas and renewable energy stories from the last month



10 2021 news in review Recapping the biggest stories of the year in the global resources sector, quarter by quarter

EVENTS 20 Mines and Money London 2021 ‘Just as you remember it, but better’ – RGN reports live from Mines and Money’s emphatic return to in-person conferencing MINES & MONEY LONDON 2021


BEST OF 2021 FEATURES 38 E3 Metals Corp Lithium hydroxide production from brine using revolutionary DLE processing technology 52 Gensource Potash Leading the way to sustainable food security



66 Tempest Minerals The time is now for copper and gold discoveries in the Yalgoo region of Western Australia


80 Marimaca Copper Corp One of the most important copper discoveries in Chile over the last decade


94 Black Rock Mining The countdown to first production begins at one of the highest quality graphite mines in the world 108 Geodrill Global drilling firm with ESG at the core of its business proposal 122 Kirkland Lake Gold Mega-merger of equals with Agnico Eagle Mines set to create world’s third largest gold company 138 Wesdome Gold Mines The only mining company to feature in the TSX30 for the third consecutive year



EVENTS 150 Events Our pick of the top mining, oil & gas and renewable energy events happening around the world in the months to come





Pent-up consumer spending, government stimulus efforts and the accelerating energy transition will continue to drive prices and demand for a range of metals in 2022, according to a recent report by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The global metals sector will continue its rebound from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, with demand growth set to keep prices at elevated levels for the medium term, in the view of S&P’s Metals and Mining Research team. “While prices may moderate through 2022 as pandemic supply issues ease, building demand — due to factors including the growth of the electric vehicle sector and the energy transition — should set the stage for historically aboveaverage prices through to 2025,” said the report. The paper predicts global copper demand from solar and wind energy generation will reach 852,000 tonnes by 2022, while the growing electric vehicle market will account for 1.1 million tonnes next year. For most other metals, margins are also expected to remain healthy in 2022 following the high prices and relatively steady costs experienced by most producers in 2021. However, S&P sees rising input costs and moderating prices as representing downside risks for margin levels across several commodities.



Mining, oil & gas and renewable energy news from around the world WORLD GOLD COUNCIL MEMBERS CONTRIBUTE $38 BILLION TO HOST COUNTRIES

A report published by the World Gold Council has revealed that its member companies produced 34.5 million ounces of gold last year and contributed close to US$38 billion to the GDP of the countries they operate in. According to the Council, member companies have committed to demonstrable standards of responsible and sustainable business practice and their data has provided a robust sample to quantify the industry’s socio-economic contribution. In 2020, member companies directly paid $8.7 billion in employee wages and $7.6 billion in tax payments to governments in 38 host countries. Direct payments of $26.2 billion were made by member companies through incountry procurement.

Barrick Gold – one of the Council’s biggest members – underscored its status as a leading contributor to socio-economic development by comparing its performance to industry-wide figures reported by the Council. 97% of Barrick’s employees and contractors were host country nationals, compared to 95% reported cumulatively by member companies. The company also contributed $1.8 billion out of the total $7.6 billion tax payments directed to host governments. “We partner with our host communities and countries to transform their natural resources into tangible benefits and mutual prosperity,” president and CEO Mark Bristow said.




Kinross Gold Corp will acquire Ontario-focused exploration firm Great Bear Resources, after announcing a deal worth US$1.42 billion that will give it access to the coveted Dixie gold project. The property, which is considered one of the most important Canadian gold discoveries in modern history, consists of 9,140 hectares of contiguous claims extending over 22 km in Northwestern Ontario. TSXV-listed Great Bear has completed more than 340,000 metres of drilling in 794 drill holes and has identified five high-grade gold discoveries to date.

“The Dixie project represents an exciting opportunity to develop a potentially top-tier deposit into a large, long-life mine complex,” Kinross CEO Paul Rollinson said. Meanwhile, Great Bear CEO Chris Taylor said: “Dixie’s closest geological analog, the large Hemlo gold mine, was historically operated by three separate companies prior to its consolidation and has produced over 20 million ounces of gold in more than 30 continuous years of operation.” At about C$29 per share, the Kinross offer represents a 26.5% premium to Great Bear’s close on December 01. The acquisition comes amid speculation of Barrick Gold’s interest in the explorer, after Mark Bristow’s firm struck agreements with two juniors over holdings to the West and North of Dixie. 8


Mining, oil & gas and renewable energy news from around the world FORTESCUE TO HELP TRANSFORM NSW COAL CENTRES INTO GREEN HYDROGEN PLANTS

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI) and AGL Energy have agreed to undertake a feasibility study to repurpose infrastructure at two coalfired power stations in New South Wales to generate green hydrogen. The Liddell and Bayswater power stations currently account for over 40% of carbon dioxide emissions in NSW, according to 2019 National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting data. However, the repurposing of these sites will help the state meet its target of halving its emissions by 2030.

The Hunter Valley Industrial Clean Energy Hub is expected to support thousands of jobs once complete, in addition to creating a new regional domestic and export industry in green hydrogen. It will also support Australia’s ambitions to become a global green hydrogen superpower. Green hydrogen is a zero-carbon fuel made by electrolysis using renewable energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. “FFI’s goal is to turn regional Australia into the global green energy heartland and create thousands of jobs now and so many more in the future,” said FFI Founder and chair, Dr Andrew Forrest.



Recapping th


The 2020s will usher in a new commodities supercycle akin to the boom of the early 2000s, according to investment banking giant Goldman Sachs. Goldman’s view on the imminent supercyle is predicated on how the world will recover from the COVID-19 crisis, with emphasis on policies supporting a green industrial revolution. The world’s two largest economies – China and the US – will lead the global effort to decarbonise key industries, after China

recently committed to carbon neutrality by 2060 and US president-elect Joe Biden pledged to deliver a US$2 trillion green infrastructure programme. This green industrial revolution ‘has the potential to create a capex cycle on par with the emerging markets-driven cycle of the 2000s’, according to Goldman. The impact of a globally synchronised decarbonisation push on demand for energy metals such as copper, lithium and nickel would be dramatic. Goldman is particularly bullish on copper, with a 12-month target of $9,500 per tonne.




he biggest stories of the year in the global resources sector, quarter by quarter MARCH 17: CHINESE LITHIUM CARBONATE PRICES ROCKET UP BY 98% IN 2021

Lithium carbonate prices in China have almost doubled so far this year, according to latest data from battery supply chain research and price reporting agency Benchmark Mineral Intelligence. Benchmark said average pricing for EXW China technical grade lithium carbonate was up 97.5% to US$11,700 per tonne in 2021, with continuing supply shortfalls seeing converters ‘scramble for units’.

Battery-grade material has gained a further 12.2% in the past two weeks to be up 88.4% this year, with the average pricing at $12,635 per tonne ‘on market shortage as many producers sell out of product inventory’. Lithium hydroxide prices have also recorded a 9.1% increase in the past two weeks to $9,625 per tonne. Earlier this month, Benchmark reported that Chinese carbonate prices held a premium over hydroxide for the first time since April 2018, due to a build-up of hydroxide capacity in China.



Recapping th


The copper price has exceeded US$10,000 per tonne for the first time since 2011, as recovering economies turn to the ‘bellwether metal’ and mines struggle to keep up with rising demand. Prices rose as much as 1.3% to $10,008 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange – putting copper in sight of its all-time high of $10,190 in February 2011 – before slipping back to trade near unchanged.

“The copper price has gone stratospheric and probably has further to go, which is a boon for miners who are currently making at least two dollars for every one they spend getting metal out of the ground,” said analyst at CRU Group Robert Edwards. Since the end of the first COVID-19 wave last year, the copper price has more than doubled on the way to its current near-record value, based on increased demand from postpandemic economic stimulus and a broad longterm belief in the global decarbonisation trend, in which copper will play a crucial role.




he biggest stories of the year in the global resources sector, quarter by quarter JUNE 04 RMI LAUNCHES NEW ESG STANDARD FOR MINING SECTOR

US-based Responsible Minerals Initiative (RMI) has launched a new ESG standard which seeks to further improve conditions for workers, the environment and communities across the mining sector. The Responsible Minerals Assurance Process ESG Standard seeks to help miners navigate expectations by providing a set of criteria right through the supply chain, from mineral processors to smelters and refiners.

RMI – which counts more than 400 member companies – identified four major areas of focus for mining companies: environment, social obligations, occupational health and safety provisions and governance requirements. “The RMI’s ESG Standard offers the most comprehensive set of environmental, social and governance requirements globally for facilities sourcing and processing minerals,” said Responsible Business Alliance vice president of responsible sourcing Leah Butler. “This standard will help companies meet government, investor, customer and regulatory requirements, such as the expectations set by EU due diligence frameworks and the London Metals Exchange.”



Recapping th


BHP has given the green light for the development of the Jansen Stage 1 potash project in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, in a move that it says will align the company with ‘future facing commodities in world class assets’. The long-awaited decision paves the way for a US$5.7 billion investment in the project, which is expected to produce approximately 4.35 million tonnes of potash per annum with potential for further expansion. First ore is

targeted in the 2027 calendar year. “This is an important milestone for BHP and an investment in a new commodity that we believe will create value for shareholders for generations,” said BHP CEO Mike Henry. Potash is a natural mineral fertiliser that is set to be required in vastly greater quantities in line with growing global population estimations. The Jansen project is located in the world’s best potash basin and is expected to operate for up to 100 years.




he biggest stories of the year in the global resources sector, quarter by quarter SEPTEMBER 28: AGNICO EAGLE TO BUY KIRKLAND LAKE GOLD IN $10.7 BILLION MERGER

Canada’s Agnico Eagle Mines and Kirkland Lake Gold have announced a US$10.68 billion merger of equals, creating a company with a reserve base of 48 million ounces of gold and an extensive pipeline of development and exploration projects around the world. The companies said the deal will establish the new Agnico Eagle as the gold industry’s highest-quality senior producer, with the lowest unit costs, highest margins, most favourable risk profile and industry-leading ESG practices. “The merger will create a best-in-class gold mining company operating in one of the world’s leading gold regions; the AbitibiGreenstone Belt of Northeastern Ontario and

Northwestern Quebec, with superior financial and operating metrics,” the joint statement read. “Consolidation within the Abitibi will also provide the new Agnico Eagle with significant value creation opportunities through synergies and other business improvement initiatives.” The new company is also uniquely positioned as the only gold producer in Nunavut and has profitable and prospective assets in Australia, Finland and Mexico.



Recapping th


A group of the world’s biggest mining companies have committed to a goal of net zero direct and indirect carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner, the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) has announced. The ICMM’s membership, which is comprised of 28 members that account for one third of the global mining and metals industry, have made the collective pledge ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in November. “ICMM members’ collective commitment to net zero scope one (direct) and two (indirect) greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is a pivotal

moment in our history,” said ICMM’s CEO Rohitesh Dhawan in an open letter signed by the 28 chiefs of the world’s largest miners. Several members, including Anglo American, Rio Tinto and BHP, have already made individual net zero commitments by 2050 or earlier, amid sustained pressure from environmental activists and shareholders. Direct and indirect emissions will be lowered by accelerating the use of renewable energy at mine sites and reducing or eliminating the use of diesel trucks, Dhawan said.




he biggest stories of the year in the global resources sector, quarter by quarter NOVEMBER 09: NEWCREST TO BUY OUT CANADA’S PRETIUM IN $2.8 BILLION DEAL

Australia’s Newcrest Mining has entered into an agreement to acquire all outstanding common shares of Pretium Resources (Pretivm) it does not already own, in a deal that values the Canadian miner at US$2.8 billion. Pretivm’s board of directors unanimously recommended shareholders vote in favour of the transaction and have entered into voting support agreements with respect to all of the Pretivm shares that they control. Pretivm is the owner of the Brucejack gold mine in the highly prospective Golden Triangle region of British Columbia. Newcrest will become the operator and 100% owner of Brucejack following the transaction, which is currently targeted for completion by Q1 2022.

The acquisition fits in with Newcrest’s strategy to build a Canadian portfolio of assets following its listing on TSX last year. The Brucejack operation is located approximately 140 km from Newcrest’s Red Chris copper-gold mine. “We are delighted to be expanding our presence in this highly prospective region in BC. Brucejack is a Tier 1 mine in a Tier 1 jurisdiction,” Newcrest CEO Sandeep Biswas said.



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The International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) is where global mining leaders connect with technology, finance and the future. As Australia's most influential mining event, IMARC creates a global conversation, mobilises the industry for collaboration and attracts some of the greatest leaders in the mining, investment, and technology industries for three days of learning, deal-making and unparalleled networking. Hear from more than 250 mining leaders and resource experts with a conference program that covers all aspects of the mining supply chain. From exploration, to investment, production to optimisation through to new technologies and global opportunities. Alongside discussions on health and safety, renewable energy, critical minerals, and sustainability. Furthermore, the exhibition will feature over 200 leading companies across the 13,000m2 expo floor showcasing the latest mining projects, equipment, and innovations the industry has on offer. Due to ongoing travel and gathering restrictions, and the resurgence of COVID-19 around Australia, the 2021 edition will take place from January 31 - February 2, 2022. The hybrid event will welcome Australian attendees in-person to Melbourne, and international attendees from more than 130 countries via an online platform. Attendees will be able to log in online to stream live and on demand conference presentations, participate in virtual meetings and interactive networking.


IN-PERSON & ONLINE 31 Jan - 2 Feb 2022 Melbourne Showgrounds


‘Just as you remem reports live from London for Mines and Mon




mber it, but better’ – ney’s emphatic return to in-person conferencing


After two years of COVIDrelated disruption and a series of virtual-only conferences, Mines and Money returned to London over December 01-02 for its first in-person event since the pandemic developed in early 2020. Not to be deterred by fears surrounding the new Omicron variant, over 1,000 delegates flocked to the Business Design Centre in North London for consecutive days of in-person networking, keynote panels and fireside discussions had by some of the biggest movers and shakers in the industry. Over 1,500 meetings between around 400 investors and 80 mining corporates took place during the two days, in an emphatic return to physical conferencing. As a leading media partner of Mines and Money, the RGN team attended the event and provided live coverage from the plenary theatre as well as from the bustling exhibiting floor. Below is RGN’s breakdown of what occurred over the course of the two days at Europe’s largest mining investment conference.


Outgoing Anglo American boss receives lifetime achievement award Anglo American chief executive Mark Cutifani was honoured to receive Mines and Money’s lifetime achievement award for his services to the industry over the breadth of his career at the diversified mining giant. Cutifani announced in November that he would be stepping down from his role at the helm of Anglo, to be replaced by 54-year old South African Duncan Wanblad, who is currently head of strategy at the company. In the opening session on day one, Cutifani dialled in virtually to the audience to deliver a presentation on the role of mining in the process of decarbonisation and the global green economy. “We need to halve emissions by 2030 to achieve 1.5 degrees of global warming in line with



“From all the feedback we have received from miners and investors, Mines and Money London was an overwhelming success in spite of some of the challenges of organising live events due to travel restrictions. I’m grateful to RGN for all of their support. We look forward to an even bigger and better Mines and Money London in 2022” Andrew Thake, Mines and Money head of content the Paris goals,” he said. “We are going to need many metals and minerals to achieve those goals, such as lithium and cobalt, along with fertilisers for the agriculture sector.”



Saudi mines minister invites industry to Riyadh for Future Minerals Summit His excellency Khalid bin Saleh Al-Mudaifer, Saudi Arabia’s Vice Minister of Mining Affairs, Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, delivered a keynote address to the Mines and Money audience highlighting the strong growth potential of the Saudi mining sector. Mining is set to play a significant role in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 framework, which seeks to diversify the economy away from oil. Up to US$1.3 trillion of resource value could be unlocked through the plan to transform the Saudi mining sector, according to the government. “In recent years, Saudi Arabia has built a track record in metals and minerals extraction, backed by a new





“Despite all the interruptions, Mines & Money 2021 proved to be a huge success. The new format with ESG engagement at the heart of the conference, fiercely fought pitch battles and a bustling audience was a welcome change to the last two years” Jamie Strauss, Digbee founder and CEO






mining investment law,” Al-

Endeavour Mining’s Simon de

Mudaifer said. The inaugural

Montessus was delighted to

Future Minerals Summit will

receive the coveted CEO of the

take place in Riyadh from

year award, despite not being

January 11-13, with more than

able to pick the award up in

12 government ministers from


the MENA region already confirmed.

Mining CEO of the year goes to Endeavour’s Simon de Montessus

Another recipient was Alliance Bernstein’s Danielle Chagumira, who was given the Charles Kernot mining analyst of the year award. De Grey Mining was rewarded for its exploration exploits in

Day one of Mines and Money

Western Australia, picking up

London was rounded off by

the discovery of the year gong.

the Outstanding Achievement awards ceremony and

Royal Road Resources was

subsequent drinks reception.

awarded ESG exploration/ 27

On the sidelines with : Asante Gold to bring Bibiani mine online in Q3 next year One of the mining corporates in attendance at Mines and Money was Ghana-focused Asante Gold. The firm acquired the Bibiani Gold Mine from Resolute Mining earlier this year, and it aims to propel the project back into production by Q3 of 2022. On care and maintenance since 2014, the project – located along Ghana’s Bibiani-Sefwi gold belt – will produce around 170,000 ounces of gold in its first year, followed by 200,000 ounces in the second year and up to 250,000 ounces after six years. Speaking exclusively to RGN at the event, Asante’s chief operating officer Dave Anthony described Ghana as an ‘exceptional’ host country in the African space. “Rule of law is paramount, the people are wonderful and very capable as mine operators. It’s a very mature industry and processes around mine licencing are well ingrained and understood,” he said.


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28 28


On the sidelines with : Tier One Silver producing astounding grades at Curibaya in Peru Peter Dembicki of Tier One Silver delivered a standout mining spotlight presentation on the main stage during day two. The president, CEO and director described the Canadian company as an ‘aggressive explorer’ of silver, gold and base metals in Peru. After seeing some of the astronomical grade intercepts achieved at the company’s flagship Curibaya project, RGN was able to catch up with Dembicki later in the day. “Soon after we did our initial geological testing at Curibaya, we received some astounding rock samples with grades I don’t think anyone has ever seen before,” he told RGN’s editor. “The next step was trenching and channel sampling to determine if there were veins outcropping on surface. When that came back with economic wins all over the place, the green light was given by our geologists to bring the drills out and start targeting these structures.” Within the first six holes, Tier One intersected 1 metre of 1,480.5 g/t silver eq within a broader interval of 444.5 g/t silver eq. “We’re really liking the next six that are in the lab right now and we hope to have a few more results in the bag soon,” said a confident Dembicki. Watch this space. AT A G L A N C E

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“The Mines and Money conference in London was an exceptional opportunity to share the Tier One Silver story with European based investors, in-person and virtually. The world class potential of our two projects, Hurricane Silver and Curibaya, deserve to be heard globally, and this conference was a fantastic platform to showcase the company” Peter Dembicki, Tier One Silver president and CEO


Mining can tackle poverty, Barrick’s Mark Bristow tells audience Barrick Gold president and CEO Mark Bristow spoke

development company of

of the mining sector’s

the year, and Golden Star

acute corporate social

Resources was given the

responsibilities within the

corresponding ESG award

regions and communities they

in the producers sphere.

operate in, during an eagerly

Congratulations to all the

anticipated fireside chat with

recipients of the 2021 awards.

ICMM’s CEO Rohitesh Dhawan in the afternoon of day two.







“Every nation in the world has the right to benefit from its natural endowment through the process of responsible mining. In particular, poverty eradication is a crucial part of our sustainability outlook at Barrick,” Bristow told the audience. The supremely experienced executive referred to Barrick’s industry-leading sustainability work across Africa throughout the last decade, including in



I would like to say a big thank you to the 1,000+ attendees that supported Mines and Money London. I’m not in the habit of speaking on other people’s behalf but it was fairly obvious to see the excitement on people’s faces that they were finally back meeting old Industry friends, new business contacts and discussing exciting opportunities on offer in 2022. We are really excited for next year with more in-person events” Mike Hill, Mines and Money event director


the DRC. The company has helped deliver clean energy solutions and highly qualified, highly paid jobs to formerly underserved regions of the country.


There was also a candid discussion about the


“Mines and Money delivered a great event despite some travel headwinds created by the pandemic. You get out of conferences what you put into them as a participant and this year I got a lot of value from the targeted meetings I had at the show. After two years of virtual calls, I was once again reminded of the critical importance of spending time with people in person” Robert Dixon, Dundee Goodman Merchant Partners managing director


“The mining industry carries

difficulties had in Tanzania by

A new ESG paradigm for the mining sector

Barrick’s former subsidiary

One of the dominant themes

realising this given mining

Acacia Mining. “We set

of Mines and Money London

wasn’t included in the recent

out to repair relations with

was the prominence of ESG

COP26 climate conference,”

the government and local

in the global mining industry.

Strauss said. “Mining offers

communities by providing

Jamie Strauss, chief executive

so much, but it needs to prove

a transparent framework

and founder of ESG solutions

its ESG credentials to remain

outlining how we share the

provider Digbee, provided

credible to the wider world.”

value created by our mining,”

an authoritative voice on the

Bristow said.

topic, in a memorable address to the audience.


the hope of the world, but you would be forgiven for not



Speaking to RGN later in the day, Strauss outlined in greater detail Digbee’s ESG product offering to the mining market. “Digbee’s three frameworks are aligned to existing global standards and aim to remove confusion, raise credibility and open up avenues for miners to communicate their track record and ESG journey.

“I think the debate on ESG has moved on quickly during the past 12 months. There’s now a realisation that every company – from explorers all the way up to the biggest producers – must prove their ESG credentials. Ultimately, these credentials will have an impact on the pricing of the commodities in question, and whether or not some trade at a premium to others,” Strauss explained.

RGN would like to extend a massive thanks to Mines and Money for delivering a brilliant in-person event for the first time in two years. Don’t forget to register for the next global mining event – the inaugural Future Minerals Summit, taking place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on January 11-13 2022!




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reports live from Future Minerals Summit Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

MINING IS A TEAM SPORT. It is our fundamental belief that to make money in this industry you need good projects, good people and complete alignment of interests so that everyone either succeeds or fails together.

- Jonathan Goodman


Lithium hydroxide production from brine usi




ing revolutionary DLE processing technology


When future generations look back at the current era of societal development, they will likely view the COVID-19 pandemic as a human tragedy first and foremost, but also as ‘the great accelerator’ of various economic forces and social trends, the most important of which being the global green energy transition.

E3 Metals’ goal is to support

The decarbonisation of transport is one aspect of this process that was solidified in a COVIDdominated 2020, as auto manufacturers made increased commitments to electrifying their fleets and governments in key markets legislated aggressive pro-electric vehicle (EV) policies.

Contemporary lithium brine

The combination of improving conditions for EVs, attempts to secure high quality supply of critical minerals and the solidification of the lithiumion and lithium batteries for mobile electrification has provided the perfect springboard for E3 Metals to catapult itself into North America’s battery metals/ EV supply chain with its unique lithium brine project in Alberta, Canada.

developed a simple, clean

the global EV revolution by producing battery grade lithium hydroxide using a novel processing technique that is set to revolutionise how lithium concentrate is removed from brine in Alberta and around the world.

production is dominated by the vast white deposits within Latin America’s lithium triangle, where time consuming and antiquated methods are required to extract the valuable lithium from the dry salt flats. However, E3 Metals has method for generating lithium hydroxide from the prolific Leduc Reservoir in Alberta, where brine is currently being produced to surface through extensive oil and gas development. Producing a crucial metal for the green energy revolution in a former oilfield is rather poetic and almost a microcosm of the transition taking place in



the global economy, and the

support those hydrocarbon-

local economy at that. With a

based businesses,” explains

large-scale resource and game-

E3 Metals president, CEO

changing processing method,

and director Chris Doornbos.

E3 Metals is at the vanguard of

“However, decreasing oil

the transition.

prices have had a huge impact

The Alberta advantage

on the local economy and the Province is looking to diversify.”

Lithium production in Alberta operates similarly to the way

Fortunately, the Provincial

hydrocarbon production

Government does not have

operates, by moving fluids

to look far in its quest for

from the aquifer to extract the

diversification. In fact, the

commodity. This process has

answer lies in the lithium

been in place since the first

brine located below surface

discovery of ‘black gold’ in the

in the depleted oil reservoirs

1940s, thus kicking off the oil

of the Leduc Formation. All

rush in Alberta.

that is required is for an entity to extract the ‘white gold’ and

This boom created a mature

process it into the valuable end

industry in the province

use product. Step forward E3

whereby expertise, social


licence, infrastructure, permitting and skilled labour

The company is advancing a

already exist and can be

significant lithium resource by

transferred to a lithium project

producing in the same manner

with ease.

as the established local industry. The key difference

“In Alberta, the majority of

is that E3 Metals deploys its

industry is hydrocarbon-

own proprietary direct lithium

based and the surrounding

extraction (DLE) technology

infrastructure is built to

that will extract the lithium


“The PEA outlined a 20,000 tonnes per year lithium hydroxide operation for 20 years, and that is just a very small snapshot of what this aquifer can deliver. The initial project will deliver an aftertax NPV of US$820 million and bottom quartile operating costs at around $3,656 per tonne” Chris Doornbos, E3 Metals president and CEO

from the brine waters in

Being in the heart of a mature

Alberta and produce lithium

and sophisticated oil industry


brings myriad benefits to E3 Metals, including a pre-

E3’s proprietary technology

existing regulatory framework

enables them to concentrate

for natural resource

and purify in a single step,

development, an industry-

leading to a much simpler and

friendly government keen

cleaner product. As a result, it

to diversify and access to an

can be sold directly to battery

underutilised workforce, along

manufacturers and original

with a high-quality selection of

equipment manufacturers

service companies.

(OEMs) in North America’s growing EV sector, where the

“All of the expertise we need

value of a local and low carbon

to build the Clearwater Project

footprint source of high purity

is here locally. Resource

lithium hydroxide would

development has well-

provide huge incentives to

developed social licence in the


area and a permitting process that routinely approves activities similar to E3’s.



Through the relationships

take a larger global position

aquifer can deliver. The initial

and foundational groundwork

as the resource is open for

project will deliver an after-

laid out so far, our project has


tax NPV of US$820 million

been significantly de-risked as

and bottom quartile operating

we continue to pave the path

In November 2020, E3 Metals

costs at around $3,656 per

toward to production.”

published its preliminary

tonne,” says Doornbos.

A globally significant resource

economic assessment (PEA) for the Clearwater resource.

“The low opex estimate

The thorough study was

is important for us to

based on extensive data on

remain resilient with price

The flagship Clearwater

the Leduc aquifer, which was

fluctuations, but it also helps

Project is currently comprised

first discovered in 1947 by

us generate a lot of revenue

of a 7.0 million tonnes lithium


from the project,” he adds.

carbonate equivalent (LCE)

E3 Metals believes that the

inferred mineral resource

“The PEA outlined a 20,000

Clearwater Project can scale

– making it approximately

tonnes per year lithium

up from the initial 20,000

the seventh largest lithium

hydroxide operation for 20

tonnes per year to 50,000

resource in the world right

years, and that is just a very

tonnes with relative ease for

now – with the potential to

small snapshot of what this


a 35-year total mine life at the

two other project areas (Rocky

a time, though, we are staying

expanded production rate

and Exshaw) in the Leduc

focused on delivering 20,000

Reservoir that both hold the

tonnes by 2024 and will grow

The expansion plans don’t end

potential for 50,000 tonnes of

our production base from

there. E3 Metals also owns

production each. This would


equate to 150,000 tonnes over


a 35-year period, according to

Developing DLE


Doornbos is cognisant of the need to demonstrate a



MARKET CAPITALISATION US$75 million (as of January 29, 2021)



“Those are just the resources

working process flowsheet

we are developing. We also

for producing battery

have land that we haven’t

grade lithium hydroxide

worked on. There is significant

on a commercial scale. E3

expansion potential that few

Metals first produced lithium

other lithium projects can

hydroxide from the Leduc

match. The company’s goal is

brine in May 2019, using

to become a major supplier of

its DLE process that was

lithium hydroxide to a rapidly

developed in partnership

expanding market. One step at



with world-leading chemical

quickly and efficiently remove

conventional methods into

manufacturer Livent.

lithium from the brine without

high value lithium products.

the need for evaporation


Consistent lab testing using

ponds, to produce a high

“We’re one of the few DLE

the in-house DLE technology

purity lithium concentrate

technology development

has shown that E3 Metals can

that can be processed using

companies that also owns its


Chris Doornbos, E3 Metals president and CEO

own resource, so we do not

production with higher

of the land area compared

have to shop for projects to

recoveries (at rates over 90%

to conventional evaporation

deploy the technology. The

according to latest testing),

projects or mining operations.”

goal for us is to produce our

no tailings and minimised

own lithium hydroxide with

freshwater usage. In fact, E3

The company plans to

our own technology, and that

Metals’ technology allows it to

produce an independent life

is what DLE gives us. It’s a

return brine to the reservoir,

cycle analysis (LCA) within

big piece of what we’ve done;

creating an environmentally

the next 12 months that will

having it 100%-owned by E3

friendly closed loop system.

outline a clear ESG strategy.

brings a lot of value to the company.”

For example: “By operating “We also have the ability to go

a gas-fired power plant, we

net-zero carbon emissions,

can capture the CO2 from

In comparison to pre-existing

not consume fresh water and

the exhaust gas and dispose

lithium brine processing

not generate any tailings. Our

of it in the waste stream

methods, DLE offers faster

project will also use only 3%

going back into the aquifer.


This is a process that has been perfected in Alberta,” Doornbos proclaims.

2021 and beyond As we enter the last week of January 2021, E3 Metals is about to cut the ribbon on its pilot development facility in Calgary. This is a huge step towards demonstrating a scaled down but commercially viable model of what the company can deliver. The company’s goal is to have a prototype running by around mid-year. The benefits for this will be two-fold, firstly to form the design basis for the field pilot, aimed to be under construction during the second half of 2021. Secondly, the company plans to use this prototype to test other brines to develop a potential new project pipeline. As E3 Metals arches towards a pre-feasibility study for the Clearwater Project, a CHRIS DOORNBOS, E3 METALS PRESIDENT AND CEO


smaller ticket item will be to


upgrade the current resource

emissions lithium product will

for lithium hydroxide move

to measured and indicated.

generate a lot of interest with a

very strongly. This is the

Without the need to conduct

battery manufacturer.”

perfect time to be bringing our

any further drilling on the

production on stream.

Leduc Reservoir, the resource

Doornbos adds: “We are

upgrade should be achievable

contemplating our options

“Supply does not move as

at a fairly minimal expense,

to bring in the right strategic

quickly as demand can move,

Doornbos says.

partner that would assist E3

so that generates a strong

in taking this project to the

market for our product and we

However, the key goal for 2021

next level. We want to work

are well timed and positioned

will be for E3 Metals to finalise

with a group that shares the

for our project to get into

its flowsheet development

same vision for the Clearwater

production. We believe this

and start producing lithium

Project and can help put

will allow the company to

hydroxide on a regular basis

this project into production

secure attractive contracts

from the concentrate it makes


for our initial production.

every day in the lab.

E3 Metals will then look to Having gone through the hard

expand production to meet

“That will be a big moment

yards at the project over the

market demand as it rapidly

for the company. We have

last four years, E3 Metals is

accelerates across the globe.”

made hydroxide before but

aiming to bring the initial

producing it at the scale we

Clearwater production online

want to this year means we can

in the mid-2020s, and the

start shipping it to potential

timing of market entrance

clients and customers in the

couldn’t be better according to

battery manufacturing space.


“It will be a significant step

“All the latest projections

for E3 when we start to have

suggest that EV demand will

players in the battery industry

steadily pick up as we reach

evaluating our product and

price parity for EVs on a mass

considering us as a potential

market basis, and they are

supplier. We believe our goal

expecting this will happen

of having a net-zero carbon

around 2024-25. At that point you should start to see demand



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Leading the way to sus




stainable food security


The United Nations estimates that the global population will rise to just under 10 billion people by 2050. This fact alone highlights how food security will be one of the greatest challenges facing societies in the coming three decades. Potash is a type of natural plant fertiliser that could play a pivotal role in expanding agricultural food production for the growing human race, however contemporary methods of potash extraction and production typically place a heavy toll on local ecosystems and communities. For many years, the industry has been dominated by an oligopoly of large-scale producers whose operations leave permanent scars on the environment, in the shape of huge piles of salt tailings and brine ponds that slowly contaminate shallow acquifers, while the sustained mining activity permanently disturbs and displaces communities, often rural and indigenous in nature. A few years ago, a number of individuals from the technical team that delivered one of these large operations - the Legacy Potash Project/Bethune Mine in the Canadian Province of Saskatchewan – started to develop ideas around a different way of operating in the potash game. Their concept was crystallised in a new company called Gensource Potash, now listed on the TSXV with a twopillared business model. The first is to be a small, efficient and environmentally sustainable potash producer and the second is to be vertically integrated from mine to farm.


“We’re trying to create a new

in the world for developing

way of producing potash that

a sustainable potash project,

is open and transparent,” says

based on an unrivalled

Gensource’s president and CEO

collective insight into the

Mike Ferguson. “We hope our

workings of the large-scale

production method becomes


more broadly available in order for this key macronutrient in

Marrying ESG and economics

the agricultural sector.”

While being smaller naturally

to create an open supply chain

reduces the environmental Gensource aims to create

impact of the Tugaske project

a series of small-scale and

by using less surface land

sustainable potash production

and having a reduced impact

facilities referred to as

on local infrastructure and

‘modules’, with the Tugaske

communities, the standout

Potash Project in Saskatchewan

environmental feature of

the first of those modules to be

the project is undoubtedly

brought into operation.

Gensource’s selective dissolution extraction method.

Tugaske will initially produce 250,000 tonnes per year of

In contrast to traditional

potash, making it a significantly

solution mining, which uses

smaller operation when

fresh water to dissolve potash

compared with the 2.8 million

and salt underground, selective

tonnes (Mt) per year Bethune

dissolution uses brine to

mine developed by the

dissolve only potash from

Gensource team in their former

underground caverns. The new

roles with Potash One.

method is a real ‘gamechanger’ for the industry, according to

Incidentally, Ferguson is of the view that his technical team at Gensource is the best





“Selective dissolution creates

for a much lower cost

no salt tailings and requires

production facility. It’s nice

no brine ponds on surface,” he

when you combine a strong

proclaims. While erasing the

ESG footprint with strong

presence of redundant piles

economics. They run together

of salt up to 100 metres high

in this case.”

and stagnant brine ponds next STOCK TICKER TSXV:GSP


US$58.8 million (as of January 26, 2021)

to the mine site, the method

The 2017 bankable feasibility

also uses about a quarter of

study for the Tugaske project

the water per tonne of product

estimated operating costs of

compared to the normal

just US$39.57 per tonne, with

solution process.

sustaining capital expenditure and various royalties

aj “Coincidentally, selective

contributing to all-in operating

dissolution mining makes

costs of about US$100 per tonne.



In addition, being roughly

that is only 65 Mt globally,

Tugaske project through

a tenth of the size of the

those are big lumps of new

the development timeline,

prevailing large-scale potash

production that the market has

notably achieving automatic

operations, which Ferguson

to deal with. By adding small

environmental approval from

labels ‘lumpy’, allows

scale, incremental production,

the Saskatchewan Ministry of

Gensource to track demand

I think we’ll start to see a

Environment in August 2018.

and ramp up incrementally

much smoother ramping up

with new modules so as not to

of supply to meet the demand

This unprecedented

flood the market with millions


decision to approve the

of tonnes of production at once.


project without the need for a formal environmental

Since acquiring 100% of

impact assessment was

“When you show up with a 4

the Vanguard Project Area

made by the Ministry after it

Mt per year project in a market

in June 2016, Gensource

designated Tugaske as ‘not a

has rapidly advanced the


“We’re trying to create a new way of producing potash that is open and transparent. We hope our production method becomes more broadly available in order to create an open supply chain for this key macronutrient in the agricultural sector” Mike Ferguson, Gensource Potash president and CEO 58

development’, due to its lack

over the last 12 months due to

of environmental impacts.

the COVID-19 pandemic.

Without knowing, Gensource had made history as the

“We are working through

first ever potash project in

the debt financing and the

Saskatchewan to receive this

approval process for the

type of determination.

Export Credit Agency and that hasn’t stopped despite of

The project is currently in the

the slowdown in the business

financing stage and has been

world that is a product of the

‘shovel-ready’ for some time,

various cycles of COVID-19,”

however the pace of progress

says Ferguson.

has slowed as a result of upheaval to working patterns



of local vendors and service providers operating in the ‘potash capital of the world’. Gensource’s construction partner SECON is another local partner with decades of experience working on potash projects in the region. “We hope to reach financial close in Q2 this year. As soon as we do, we will be on the ground with construction, because of the parallel work we have been doing for project ramp up,” Ferguson reveals.

Offtake and equity Perhaps the most vital partnership Gensource has made is with German MIKE FERGUSON, GENSOURCE POTASH PRESIDENT AND CEO

conglomerate HELM AG, who came on board in January 2020 with an offtake arrangement


“We’re moving a bit slower

In fact, Gensource is already

for 100% of the potash

than we would under ideal

working on some engineering

production from the first

conditions, but things carry

activities at the project site

Tugaske module, via its North

forward. We have great

along with its partners,

American subsidiary HELM

support from our senior

including Saskatoon-based

Fertilizer Corp.

debt partners and the whole

Engcomp. The engineering

process continues to progress.”

firm is one of a multitude


In addition to the offtake deal,

as its marketing arm. With

interveners in between. HELM

HELM also committed to

an existing infrastructure

will take our product from

invest equity in the project, in

and customer base in the US,

mine site at Tugaske and move

doing so helping Gensource

HELM has visibility straight

it directly to the customer,

create a streamlined supply

through to the customer.

with no intermediaries.”

line with its second business

“Besides the small-scale

Going global

pillar: Vertical integration.

production, the other part

Gensource is tantalisingly

of our business plan is about

close to delivering its first

“To find an offtaker who

vertical integration and

small-scale, efficient and

believes in the project enough

making sure we have the

environmentally sustainable

to become an equity investor

most efficient supply chain

potash production module in

was key for us. We now have

from the Tugaske project in

Saskatchewan, which is being

perfect alignment between

Saskatchewan to the identified

touted as a ‘gamechanger’ for

the project and what we see

market, with no other

the potash sector. However,

chain for the potash space, in

this is just module number




Mike Ferguson, Gensource Potash president and CEO

one and Gensource’s vision is

supply chain that we are

“Being close to market in the


offering, that’s what sparks

fertiliser world is important

another module.”

because a lot of the costs

“The Tugaske project is set

involved in the supply chain

up to expand incrementally

Crucially, the company’s

are around transportation and

with additional modules. So

downsized approach to potash

logistics. The closer you can

as we work with HELM on

production is set to unlock

get to that market the better off

the market side of things, we

an entire cache of projects

you are. We’re excited about

aim to add modules based on

around the world previously

the prospect of identifying

demand. But more broadly

deemed too small to be

and putting into production

speaking, our approach

economic. Gensource’s aim is

these various – some known

is always ‘market first’. As

to find these deposits in close

and some currently unknown

we identify a market that

proximity to key agricultural

– resources in locations

is interested in an efficient


around the world,” Ferguson concludes.



Bushveld Minerals’ vision is to grow into a significant, low cost and vertically integrated company comprising of primary vanadium production, electrolyte manufacturing, development and deployment of Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries in the energy markets. Our value proposition includes: •

Compelling commodity market anchored to steel with burgeoning demand from energy storage market

Largest primary vanadium resource base of ~550Mt with a grade 1.58-2.02% V₂O₅ in magnetite

Bushveld Minerals owns 2 of the 4 operating primary vanadium production processing facilities, with capacity to scale up production significantly

Bushveld Minerals will offer a diversfied product offering for the steel, chemical industry and energy storage market

Bushveld Minerals vertical integration strategy into energy storage provides a natural hedge to vanadium price volatility as well as a diversified revenue stream

5 Harries Road, Illovo Edge Office Park 2nd Floor, Johannesburg, Gauteng 2196 | info@bushveldminerals.com | www.bushveldminerals.com @BushveldMin_Ltd

Bushveld Minerals


The time is now for copper and gold discover




ries in the Yalgoo region of Western Australia


ASX-listed Tempest Minerals has been established in the Yalgoo region of Western Australia (WA) for several years, formerly operating as a pure play lithium explorer under the name Lithium Consolidated (Li3). However, due to the saturation of the lithium market in 2019, the company’s board decided that a more risk weighted approach was in order. The subsequent acquisition of Warrigal Mining – an outfit founded by Australian mining engineer Owen Burchell and experienced geologist Don Smith – provided access to a suite of precious and base metals exploration projects in the highly prospective Yalgoo greenstone belt, located approximately 400 km Northeast of Perth. Now with exploration interests in gold, copper and lithium, the combined company’s new leadership felt a name change was required to promote its more diversified approach. They came up with Tempest – loosely translated from Latin as ‘the time is now’ - a good slogan for what the firm is trying to achieve, according to managing director Don Smith.



Data-driven Diving deeper into the culture that has been propagating within Tempest since the end of 2019, Smith describes a data-driven approach that he and the company believe is fundamental for making discoveries in the modern exploration space. “A lot of companies are talking about the ‘digital revolution’ in mining, but we’re trying to live it,” he says. “We have a paperless office, all our work done in the field is done through apps, some of which we’ve developed in-house. “All this data goes straight to our own cloud, which we can then review in our various software packages in real time if necessary. I think in that regard we are many steps ahead of our competitors.” Smith has previously described Yalgoo as ‘unloved’ and ‘underexplored’ in comparison to some of WA’s more established mining hotspots,




but during the last 12 months he has noticed a considerable ramp up in prospective activity within close proximity to Tempest’s projects. “There’s been a number of explorers entering the arena in Yalgoo in the last year – coincidentally since COVID-19 made an appearance – and there’s been some very highprofile successes too.” These include Firefly Resources making sustained drilling progress in Yalgoo Town, Venture Minerals

“A lot of companies are talking about the ‘digital revolution’ in mining, but we’re trying to live it. We have a paperless office, all our work done in the field is done through apps, some of which we’ve developed inhouse” Don Smith, Tempest Minerals managing director




announcing the re-

retained its lithium assets

discovery of volcanogenic

further South.

massive sulphides (VMS) Grove North Project and Emu

Drilling the Messenger

NL recording consistent gold

One of Tempest’s most

hits at the historic Gnows Nest

promising copper-gold

Gold Mine.

properties is the Messenger

mineralisation at the Golden

Project, which is located in STOCK TICKER: ASX:TEM MARKET CAPITALISATION: US$6.5 million (as of March 18, 2021) aj

“Everyone has rushed into the

an area that is known for the

area, had great initial success

discovery of high-grade gold

and we’re enjoying having

mineralisation in the early

neighbours,” Smith quips.

20th century, when operators

Much of the growing body of

produced between two and 10

exploration work in the region

ounces per tonne through a

focuses on gold and copper

state processing facility.

mineralisation, which is also


true of Tempest’s portfolio,

“Since that time, it’s been

although the company has

a very popular place in the


region for individuals to go

of this existing data with its

The next phase of

and hunt for nuggets and

own mapping work in the field

development at the Messenger

do artisanal mining, but

– a process Smith calls ‘proof-

Project commenced at the start

nobody has really explored


of March 2021 with a 2,500

it commercially. There was

metres RC drilling campaign at

some initial drilling done

After collecting all the existing

the existing Dally lode-hosted

in the 1990s when one of

data and using it to remodel

gold target and the Wally VMS

those holes intercepted some

some existing geophysics for

target. Tempest hopes that

very high grades, but the

the whole region, Tempest

the wide-spaced drilling will

area definitely wasn’t tested

has been able to identify

confirm a large mineralised


two clear anomalies at the

system at the project that

Messenger project, with one

could support a standalone

Closely following its data-

of those anomalies matching


driven approach, Tempest has

the historic mining location

spent time collating a huge

but with a significantly longer

amount of historic data in the

strike than previously had

Multi-project approach

Messenger Project region and

been realised.

While Tempest advances the

cross-referencing the veracity


Messenger drilling campaign


over the coming months, this

tend to focus on one project at

drilled at previous projects. So

will not come at the expense of

a time,” Smith says.

we rotate around our projects

progression at the firm’s other

and improve them one by one

projects in the Yalgoo. “We’re

“We aim to conduct drilling

and reprioritise our targets

a little bit different to some

at one project and while that’s

based on the results.”

exploration companies that

happening, we’re reviewing and remodelling the data we’ve




Don Smith

Don Smith is a geologist and entrepreneur with over 20 years in the mining industry. He has worked roles for junior through to multinational firms on projects spanning six continents and numerous commodities.

In the spirit of this multiproject approach, Tempest is currently prioritising drill targets for Q3 at the 332 km² Meleya Project, which

Don has been involved with a number of private and publicly listed resource companies including as a founding director of Platypus Resources and as a director of Alderan Resources and its highly successful IPO. Don has a Bachelor of Science from Newcastle University and an MBA from the Australian Institute of Business. He is a member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and a member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists.

could yield copper and gold from a vast tract of VMS


RGN editor Jacob Ambrose Willson interviews Tempest Minerals managing director Don Smith, March 10, 2021

“We aim to conduct drilling at one project and while that’s happening, we’re reviewing and remodelling the data we’ve drilled at previous projects. So we rotate around our projects and improve them one by one and reprioritise our targets based on the results”


mineralisation in the same

nearby processing facilities

host rocks that hold the world

providing a pathway to

class Golden Grove copper-


zinc mine. And finally in the Yalgoo Tempest is also currently

region, Tempest will look

planning a resource

to build on the great recent

study at the Euro Project

success at the Warriedar West

ahead of a confirmation

Project, which has yielded

drilling programme. This

three gold discoveries in

smaller, predominately

recent times.

gold-mineralised project is strategically located between

“At Warriedar West, we’ve

three operating mines, with

proven a geological theory we’ve had for some time. Not many people in WA are


“We’re very confident in our

gold systems, and we now have

Breaking new ground

shown unequivocally that it is

Looking back over the last two

and we happen to be in a

precisely that.

to three years, Smith puts on

world class jurisdiction where

record his - and the company’s

we’re not subjected to some

“It’s an intrusion that’s come

- new-found confidence in

of the more unfortunate

up and flowed very close to

the Tempest story having

circumstances that other

the surface and had some

diversified its commodity

jurisdictions are suffering

interesting alteration happen

focus in the increasingly

with at the moment. That has

to it which means that it’s

mineralogically attractive

definitely helped us and we

packed with gold. There’s a

Yalgoo region of WA, where it

look forward to continue doing

number of places where these

has been operating for several

more good work in the Yalgoo,”

high-grade pods exist and we


he concludes.

looking for intrusive related

ability to make discoveries

tapped into one of those in our recent drilling there,” Smith recalls.


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One of the most important copper dis




scoveries in Chile over the last decade


Chile-focused explorer Marimaca Copper holds the distinction of making one of a handful of (or perhaps the only) new copper discoveries around the world since 2015. While this paucity of new discoveries speaks to a growing problem in the balance of supply and demand for the dynamic ‘red metal’, Marimaca’s namesake project was unearthed in 2016 by the TSX-listed company’s VP of exploration, Sergio Rivera, when a one-in-a hundred-year rainfall washed away decades of Atacama dust to reveal a green hue on a mountain side in an area of Chile’s prolific copper mining centre in Antofagasta. Having said that, the Marimaca deposit was not completely unknown prior to the rare weather event; there was outcropping mineralisation at surface that had been walked over and identified by numerous geologists, but generally accepted wisdom for the area dictated that there would be nothing new to uncover of sufficient scale for a mine. “I think it’s been a story of challenging the generally accepted wisdom about what sort of copper project could be in the belt of rocks we have there in Northern Chile,” says Marimaca’s president and CEO Hayden Locke.



“Our geologists challenged

fantastic copper environment

that wisdom and decided

for us.

it was worth drilling. What they found was significant

“Marimaca’s discovery of a

extensions North and South

surface oxide copper deposit

along strike and also at depth.

with significant depth

As a result, it is one of the

potential not only contradicts

most significant new oxide

the once-held views of many

discoveries in Chile in the last

experts in the field, it also

decade and certainly one of

creates a low-risk, low-cost

the most exciting development

mine development scenario

stage copper projects in the

for the company.

world today. It also has a very short timeline to get

“It is quite a unique project

into production in what is a

in that there is oxide


mineralisation at surface, a low strip ratio for an open pit mine with a very low capex relative to most of the new copper development stories in the world. We’re excited to have this project in our control.”

Location, location, location The location of the deposit is a huge part of Marimaca’s attractive story, according to Locke, who cut his teeth mostly developing projects in African mining jurisdictions,

“Marimaca is one of the most significant new oxide discoveries in Chile in the last decade and certainly one of the most exciting development stage copper projects in the world today” – Hayden Locke, Marimaca Copper president and CEO

where infrastructure has been at times poor, and mine locations often remote. Good locations have existing infrastructure in place and access to a highly skilled workforce; things which have a knock-on impact in terms of execution risk and capital costs. “The location we have at Marimaca is absolutely outstanding,” Locke proclaims. “We’re in the low coastal range of the Chilean mountain range, so fairly low altitude compared



to being in the high Andes. We have access to power, roads and communication is incredible. There’s an international airport 45 km away, we have a very large, highly skilled workforce that is generally working in the mining industry or some derivative of it. “All of that adds up to much lower execution risk, but also much lower capital cost for the overall project. It [the location] is a huge benefit for us and one that we are very happy


with.” He highlights access to water – a key input in the copper mining process, but a scant resource in one of the most arid parts of the world – as the single biggest locational advantage. Marimaca will use seawater at its operation, which crucially means it won’t have to tap into local freshwater aquifers that are vital for drinking, agriculture and the general


STOCK TICKER: TSX:MARI MARKET CAPITALISATION: US$328.5 million (as of April 22, 2020) aj



environment. From an ESG standpoint, this is absolutely essential to the project’s successful development in a region where political and social objections have blocked the progress of mining projects in very recent memory.

Publishing the PEA The low upfront and all-in sustaining costs (AISC) nature of the Marimaca project was confirmed by the August 2020 preliminary economic assessment (PEA). The study calculated the upfront capital cost at US$285 million, while the AISC of $1.29 per pound of copper is in the bottom 15% of the curve. Hayden explains that the low-cost nature of the project


comes down to three key attributes: “First, it’s a very simple open pit mine. As a result, there is virtually no pre-strip, very little up front capital costs to get this project into mining and start taking


R Marimaca



valuable ore and putting it on

copper produced basis, the

the leach pads.”

capital intensity for an SX-EW plant is much lower than a

The presence of a high-grade

concentrator, notes Locke.

core in the first five years of mining is an added advantage

Locational advantage,

which means the company can

predominantly Marimaca’s

move lower material tonnes

access to a power line 7 km

and hence use a smaller fleet

away, is the third contributor

of equipment during the first

to the low-cost project


estimates. Roads and the seawater pipeline are already

The second low-cost attribute

in place and there is no need

is the ability to use SX-EW

for a mining camp as there are

leaching as the process

two urban centres (Antofagasta

method. On a per tonne of

and Mejillones) within 45 km

RGN editor Jacob Ambrose Willson interviews Copper Corp president Hayden Locke, March 30, 2021

of the site. The PEA also calculated a posttax NPV of $524 million for the project (assuming a $3.15 per pound flat long-term copper price) and an IRR of 33.5%, with annual copper production at approximately 40,000 tonnes in the first six years, over a total 12-year life. Marimaca actually went above and beyond with certain elements inside the PEA advanced to an even higher degree of confidence. For


instance, the metallurgical recoveries are supported by four phases of testing. “The fifth phase is really about making sure we are completely bankable, but also preparing ourselves for operational readiness and making sure we have a really robust geometallurgical model,” Locke declares. A round of infill drilling will also be required to shift the remaining 30% of the Marimaca resource from inferred to measured and indicated (M&I). The project currently contains nearly 420,000 tonnes of contained copper in M&I, according to a December 2019 mineral resource estimate. “We’ll probably do a bit more extensional drilling to add some more to the overall resource ahead of the feasibility study, which we’ll hopefully start in the second half of this year with the goal to deliver that in the early part of next year.”




Lifting the lid further

and on-ground mapping

The company has developed a

reconnaissance work,

cluster of five regional targets

Marimaca is also pursuing a

including geochemical

over the last 12 months and is

dual-track exploration strategy

analysis and soil sampling.

beginning to test those as we

after identifying the potential

approach the middle of the

to add resources at depth and

“These days there is much

year. “We should have a fairly

across the coastal copper belt

less outcrop at surface, which

good idea of whether there’s

district. While the company

means there are less obvious

something there by the end of

has reported good visibility

reasons to go out and drill a

first half of 2021.”

on a couple of years of oxide

target, so we’re creating those

resource around Marimaca,

targets using a multitude

To conclude, the significance

it is focusing its near-mine

of methods, including

of the Marimaca project is

exploration on the potential at

magnetism,” Locke explains.

not its potential scale per say,


“This is an IOCG belt with

but the fact that it is a copper

a strong preponderance of

discovery that has arrived at a

“We know the oxide has to

magnetite and so we believe

time when the supply-demand

have been fed by a sulphide

that a magnetic response

equation is tipping drastically

system at depth somewhere.

is a good way for us to start

in favour of the latter, as the

We’re looking at whether

targeting areas to look for

electrification of the global

or not there is an economic

potential repetitions of

economy begins to gather

extension of that sulphide

Marimaca style deposits.


deposit. We are currently

“We believe we now have a

“Copper is going to become

on-site drilling deeper drill

good geological exploration

more important and we’re

holes right now and trying to

model to target repetitions of

excited to be part of that

understand what’s going on in

Marimaca-style mineralisation

important demand shift

that all-important feeder zone

and hopefully add significant

with a project that can be

at depth.”

oxide tonnes close to our

brought into production in

current project, but also find

a short timeframe,” Hayden

The second phase of

some larger sulphide deposits


exploration will look for

at depth as well with our

repetitions of Marimaca in

ongoing exploration.”

orebody below the Marimaca

the surrounding area, using a mixture of geophysics


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The countdown to first production graphite min




n begins at one of the highest quality nes in the world


Of the multitude of metals and minerals set to play a role in the global clean energy transition, graphite continues to be one of the most overlooked by generalist investors across capital markets. Many market observers see graphite’s traditional uses in steel, cement or glass manufacturing, but less are aware of its role as a preferred anode material for the growing battery technology industry. In fact, graphite is the only anode material used in lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, which have emerged as the dominant technology powering the electric vehicle (EV) revolution. At this stage, it’s important to differentiate the two types of graphite that are available to the market: Synthetic (produced from coal tar or petroleum) and natural flake graphite (geologically formed and mineable in economic quantities). It is therefore widely accepted that as the global decarbonisation thematic deepens, there will be a significant swing from synthetic blends to natural flake graphite production. This will come at a significant advantage to those in control of large and scalable natural graphite deposits, such as Black Rock Mining and its multi-generational Mahenge Project in Tanzania.


Mahenge is one of the largest

Taking a step back, Black

JORC-compliant flake graphite

Rock’s managing director and

resources globally with 212

CEO John de Vries tells RGN

million tonnes (Mt) at 7.8%

that making a natural flake

total graphitic carbon (TGC),

graphite discovery isn’t the

and a reserve of 70 Mt at 8.5%

difficult part of the process.

TGC; making it the 4th largest

“It conducts and responds

graphite reserve in the world,

incredibly well to several

according to Black Rock.

geophysical methods,” he says.

An enhanced definitive feasibility study in mid-2019

Finding the sweet spot

estimated a total post-tax NPV

“What we’ve found is it’s

of US$1.2 billion for the 26-year

diabolically difficult to

life-of-mine project, with a

commercialise. That’s

four-phase production module

because what you’re trying to

ramping up incrementally to

do is create a specific set of

350,000 tonnes per annum (tpa)

circumstances to create an

in the final phase under the

economic deposit.”

firm’s ‘crawl, walk, run, sprint’ strategy.

Flake size is one of those requirements, de Vries

Over the last four years, Black

explains. The most valuable

Rock has spent time qualifying

form of graphite is large

the resource at Mahenge,

flake, which is used in various

fine-tuning the end product

applications from flame

via a succession of pilot plant

retardants to refractories and

tests and securing vital offtake

aviation. Meanwhile, small

agreements, alongside other

flake (fines) are typically

key project development

utilised in Li-ion batteries,


paint, lubricants and pencils.


“You need enough flake size to add value to your basket, but the problem with large flake is it’s used in a number of different manufacturing processes. These tend to be smaller manufacturing enterprises, so you can’t get a balance sheet that will co-fund you. “Conversely, the fine material goes into steel mills or EVs, where there are big balance sheets that can co-fund you.

The next

So, you’re trying to trade off


a fines to flake ratio where

for graphite

there’s enough fines to attract

developers is to

someone to sponsor you

match the project’s

and enough flake to make

production rate to

it economic. That becomes

the current market size

quite a challenge.”

without distorting the



STOCK TICKER: ASX:BKT MARKET CAPITALISATION: US$88.9 million (as of July 01, 2021) aj pricing status quo. Once again, there is a balance to be struck between being big enough to be investable, but small enough to not unbalance the market. “We’re really lucky with Mahenge,” de Vries proclaims. “At the grades we’ve got, we can produce 80-85,000 tpy. It’s got a beautiful flakes to fines ratio [around 60:40], the material is strongly differentiated chemically,



“We can produce 80-85,000 tonnes per year of graphite from Mahenge in the first phase. It’s got a beautiful flakes to fines ratio [around 60:40], the material is strongly differentiated chemically and that is evidenced by POSCO coming on board as a cornerstone offtaker and investor” John de Vries, Black Rock Mining managing director and CEO


and that is evidenced by

This investment is being

The fines from Mahenge’s

POSCO coming on board as

used to support the front-

first phase of production will

a cornerstone offtaker and

end development of the

support POSCO’s recently


Mahenge project as Black Rock

stated ambition to become a

prepares to commence the

global leader in the battery

construction phase before the

materials sector within a

end of the year. In addition,

decade, with a particular

A strategic alliance with

POSCO has agreed to provide

focus on graphite-based anode

Korean steel-making giant

a pre-payment facility for


POSCO was first announced in

project financing and will

June 2020, before Black Rock

purchase 100% of the graphite

“We are actually the only

sealed a US$7.5 million equity

fines concentrate from the

graphite developer with a

investment in January 2021,

first phase in an offtake

Western anode producer

giving POSCO a 15% stake in


on board as a cornerstone

Partnering with POSCO

the company.

investor, and we’re still preconstruction. I think that talks





a lot about the quality of the

circumstances, according to

chemically pure. We have

chemistry we have at Mahenge

de Vries. Usually, graphite ore

a very low footprint from a

and the amount of work we’ve

contains fluid migration which

refining point of view.”

put in through our pilot plants

creates intercalations and the

and studies.”

subsequent need to refine the

Black Rock also has access to

material for battery materials

hydroelectric grid power and


a railway line will transfer

While the graphite produced from Mahenge has a diversified product mix with

“[Refining the product] creates

of which provide low-carbon

a perfect blend of flake and

a porous and weak flake.

alternatives to traditional

fine material, the project’s

Mahenge’s got a solid flake and

fossil fuel-based power and

green credentials provide an

effectively all we need to do is

transport options.

additional layer of attraction,

remove the intercalation off

particularly to the modern-day

the top of the massive flake.

ESG investor.

So that’s got value

Greener graphite Mahenge’s green credentials come back to its unique geological

10 2

its product to market; both

in terms of being


Staying within the ESG

“We’ve got a long mine life

By the same token, any mine

thematic, Black Rock had

and we really do want to be

developer should fully mitigate

its Resettlement Action Plan

there for a long time, and on

any adverse impacts on the

(RAP) – relating to four villages

a personal level I’d like to be

local population and its access

in close proximity to the

leaving a positive legacy. That

to natural resources such as

Mahenge project - completed

means you’ve got to work with

water, which is regularly a

and approved in September

your community and they

last year. This was a crucial

must feel they are gaining

milestone not just for the

some benefit

smooth development of the

from you being

project, but also from a social


licence to operate point of view.


bone of contention in other mining jurisdictions globally. In the case of Mahenge, Black Rock has been able to design a dry stack operation as opposed to a wet tailings dam, which means the company won’t be competing with local subsistence farmers for precious water resources. “Getting those [social aspects] right has been a major milestone and certainly our people in Tanzania have done a fantastic job of being able to

However, de Vries is confident

says to our community, our

do that while we’ve not been

that the mining industry is

shareholders and the graphite

able to be on the ground there

now back on track in the

industry in general that

to supervise it,” says de Vries.

country just as Black Rock is

we’re in a position of gaining

entering the final stages of the

confidence that we’ll soon be

project development timeline

doing what we planned to do,

Black Rock’s chief reflects on a

at Mahenge. “We’re certainly

which is operating a mine on

tumultuous period in-country

seeing some good will coming

the hill.”

since the Tanzanian mining

out of the people we’re

code was revised in 2017.

working with in the Tanzanian

The next big milestone

This upheaval in the sector

government to want to make

for the project would be a

was then exacerbated by the

this happen.

confirmation of the long-

Staying on track

emergence of the COVID-19

1 04

standing free carried

pandemic and the unexpected

“Starting to front-end load

interest agreement with the

death of Tanzania’s President

our development programme

Government of Tanzania.

John Magufuli earlier this year.

and push through our RAP

Once this is completed, de


Vries believes Black Rock can

Mahenge’s first phase

year-after-year and pick up a

quickly step into a finance

production rate of 83,000 tpa

decent portion of that market

process with a view to

will come in at around 7.5%


commissioning the first phase

of the total graphite market

of the project towards the end

of about 1.3 million tpa. By

“Now we’ve qualified

of the 2022.

Black Rock’s estimations, this

Mahenge, all we need to

entrance will not induce a

do is put in additional

With first graphite production

price-based response from

modules. We don’t need that

from the Mahenge project

existing producers, meaning

extensive ramp-up period of

potentially just over a year

the firm’s price gets validated.

qualification. The strategy is

from now, Black Rock is

simply; produce more of the

planning a sensible entry

“But at the projected

same material into the market

to the market under the

growth rates we’re seeing

that already knows what we

aforementioned crawl, walk,

in the market, we’re able to

are capable of producing.”

run, sprint strategy.

effectively drop another 85,000 tpy module on the ground


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GEOD Global drilling firm with ESG at

10 8


DRILL the core of its business proposal


“I founded Geodrill almost 25 years ago in Ghana with one rig and one contract and steadily grew the company. It was a pretty simple business model based on the careful selection of safety conscious and service-orientated personnel, a commitment to a well-maintained fleet of drills and providing the full gamut of exploration drilling services,” Geodrill’s president and CEO David Harper tells RGN. But above all else, Geodrill’s story has been defined by an unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction, no matter how major or minor the client is, he continues. Today, the multi-purpose drilling services provider focuses predominantly on the African market, having grown out of its natural home in Ghana into neighbouring Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Mali, as well as Egypt in North Africa. More recently, Geodrill expanded into a new continent – South America – with a subsidiary company established in Peru last year. “We currently operate 70 drills. We drill about 1.5 million metres a year, making us the 7th largest driller by metreage in the world. And we provide about 1,000 career opportunities to the communities in which we operate.”


After a sustained period of rig growth and expansion into new markets in West Africa in the decade after the new millennium, Geodrill listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) in 2010, with Harper

used by juniors

citing the size of the market and

in early stage

the appetite of its investors for

exploration), grade

the mining industry.

control, geo-tech and


water borehole drilling. “TSX investors were very receptive when we were

Geodrill’s multi-purpose fleet

considering the IPO route over

provides its clients with a high

a decade ago. They’ve always

level of versatility at the mine

understood mining and they

site. For instance, the ability

understand mining derivatives

to switch between RC and

such as drilling and the services

diamond core drills midway

industry,” he says.

through a drill hole - with

Multi-purpose drill fleet

minimal effort or down time eliminates the customer’s need to have two rig types on site,

Throughout its existence,

therefore improving overall

Geodrill has consistently

efficiency and lowering the all-

invested in a vast array of

in average cost per metre.

modern equipment in order to supply its clients with a

“Our customers are major,

‘one-stop’ drilling solution.

intermediate and junior

The company’s expansive

mining companies and we

drill services include reverse

operate on the surface and

circulation (RC), diamond core,

underground [since 2017]. It’s

deep directional navi drilling,

about providing the full gamut

air core ((AC) a popular method

and being able to get it all



under one roof in the Geodrill

developing our young talent.”

brand,” Harper explains.

The hub and spoke model

Harper is told by Geodrill’s suppliers and industry peers that the facility is the largest

In Africa, Geodrill follows a

and most comprehensive

‘hub and spoke’ operational

operations base of any drilling

model, with Ghana operating

company in the world. “I have

as the hub. “Here in Ghana,

visited most of our competitors

we operate a 35 acre facility.

and I would say this is a

Within that facility, there is

correct statement,” he says.

a world-class workshop for

11 2

maintaining the drills. We also

The Kumasi operating hub

have a HSE training facility

also holds a US$25 million

and drill training academy for

inventory of critical spare


parts and consumables to keep

Africa; and this is what gives

the rigs ‘turning, churning

us our mechanical advantage.”

and earning’, across West and North Africa. In addition,

As a result, Geodrill’s outlier

there is a CNC engineering

operations on the continent

plant at the facility, which

simply do not need facilities

enables Geodrill to make its

of the same scale, with

own drill rods and spares.

operations in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali and

“We’ve even started making

Egypt acting as the spokes

our own drill rigs. This facility

revolving around the Ghana

is an operational centre of

hub. Nevertheless, these

excellence,” Harper exclaims.

smaller bases are still replete

“We currently operate 70 drills. We drill about 1.5 million metres a year, making us the 7th largest driller by metreage in the world. And we provide about 1,000 career opportunities to the communities in which we operate” – David Harper, Geodrill CEO

“There’s nothing like it in West


with comprehensive support

along with a plethora of Africa-

(environmental, social and

equipment and services.

focused mid-tier producers,

corporate governance)

including: Endeavour Mining,

are by no means new to a

This interwoven model

Centamin, Golden Star

company like Geodrill, which

means Geodrill can quickly

Resources, Perseus Mining and

has been acutely conscious

mobilise the relevant

West African Resources.

of its corporate social

equipment or service to any

responsibilities from the get-

client across West and North

Not forgetting the junior

Africa, including for the

sector, Harper highlights

largest players in the gold

his company’s work with the

“ESG has gone from a situation

space. Barrick Gold, Kinross

likes of AIM-listed IronRidge

of being ‘nice to have’ to

Gold Corp, Gold Fields and

Resources, ASX firm Mako

companies being mandated

Newmont Corporation all lean

Gold and TSXV issuers Roscan

to come up with various KPIs

on Geodrill’s drilling expertise,

Gold, Newcore Gold and

to explain in an auditable and

African Gold Group.

tangible fashion what exactly



Embedded ESG values


they are doing about this very important subject. Whereas for us, it’s business as normal.

ESG has developed into the

We’ve always believed in doing

leading buzzword for the

what is right, not just what is

sector in recent years, as


companies look to impress a

STOCK TICKER: TSX:GEO MARKET CAPITALISATION: US$77.6 million (as of August 25, 2021)

growing legion of institutional

“At the very core of our

and general investors focused

vision and values, there

on issues such as the carbon

has always been a very

footprint of the mining

strong commitment to

industry and the social

the communities and the

wellbeing of communities

environment in which we

affected by mineral extraction

operate,” Harper recounts.

around the world.

“This means operating to the highest HSEQ standards


However, the core principles

with transparency and

ensconced in the ESG thematic

accountability with all of our stakeholders.”

1 14


Geodrill is also an equal

drilling upstart who joined

employee. It’s a matter of fact

opportunities employer

the company around the same

that some of our employees

and a proud advocate for

time as the current CEO.

are operating in Australia,

gender diversity inclusion

He started off working as a

teaching Australians how to

across all its business units.

‘drill helper’, but after some

drill. It’s been a success story

In addition, Harper tells

time and tuition he became

in that regard.”

RGN that providing ‘career

a driller. After 17 years in the

opportunities’ is the single

role, he became a supervisor

biggest way in which a

and then a manager.

company can positively impact

Health, safety and education This is just one example

any community it works in.

“This case shows there is a

of Geodrill’s multitude of

This is particularly the case in

clear path to success that

investments in local talent

the parts of Africa.

empowers our employees.

throughout its history. The

It enables them to go from

company’s other commitments

By way of example, Harper

a low-skilled to semi-skilled

to community engagement are

describes the story of a young

and eventually a highly-skilled


heavily themed towards the three pillars of health, safety and education. In the area of community health, Geodrill has funded infant open heart surgeries for the past 15 years and often considers ad-hoc cases, such as the one of a little girl born with cancer in both eyes. Geodrill paid for the family’s travel to India, where she was fitted with prosthetic eyes. The costs of the procedure were also covered by the company. “In education we have made numerous donations to schools. For example, in the recent semester we donated to three major schools to refurbish their science labs and we see this as a key area where we can really make a difference.” Elsewhere, there wouldn’t be too many communities Geodrill operates where it hasn’t provided water wells. The firm has also built shelters DAVE HARPER, GEODRILL PRESIDENT AND CEO

for victims of domestic abuse, while supporting orphanages and rising sports starts.

1 16


“The Ghana boxing team

visit the ESG section of our

These sustained ESG efforts

recently won the Olympic

website to see what I’m talking

have not gone unnoticed. In

bronze medal in Japan just

about when I say we allow our

2020, the company won the

a couple weeks ago. We’ve

actions to speak louder than

Australia-Africa Minerals &

always been huge supporters

our words,” Harper declares.

Energy Group (AAMEG) ESG

of the Ghana boxing team. I

award for the best workforce

would encourage anyone to

1 17

11 8


commodity mix, hence the expansion into South America, where we are currently drilling for one of the EV [electric vehicle] metals. “Mining is a cyclical business; we go from feast to famine

A sustainable future

every five years and have just come out of a very long downcycle. I think we have

As a company that believes in

four or five good years ahead

doing what is right, Geodrill

of us and Geodrill intends to

will continue to spend around

benefit in that upcycle.”

2% of its revenues on ESG initiatives. After posting and industry development.

significantly improved financial results in 2020, and

And in July

with 2021 set to be another

2021, Geodrill

‘bonanza year’ according to

won the prestigious

Harper, this commitment to

Millennium Excellence Award for Mining and

corporate care looks to be a significant one.

Exploration. In the first two quarters of the Harper explains that

year, Geodrill has reported

Millennium Excellence is

70% and 47% year-on-year

the highest award that can

improvements in revenue,

be bestowed in Ghana. This

on the coat tails of a strong

year, Geodrill’s boss happens

commodity price run not

to be a fellow laureate with

just confined to gold. “Plans

the current President of the

are afoot to improve our

Republic of Ghana; Nana

geographical footprint and




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Mega-merger of equals with Agnico Eagle Mines

1 22



s set to create world’s third largest gold company


On September 28, 2021, Kirkland Lake Gold and Agnico Eagle Mines announced to the world a US$10.68 billion merger of equals, creating a Canadian gold mining giant with a reserve base of 48 million ounces of gold and an extensive pipeline of development and exploration projects around the world. The deal, which ostensibly looks like the largest merger in the gold sector since the $10 billion Newmont-Goldcorp tie-up in January 2020, will establish the new company as the gold industry’s highest quality senior producer, with the lowest unit costs, highest margins, most favourable risk profile and industry-leading ESG practices, according to both parties. “Logically speaking, these are the only two companies that a merger of equals make sense for, from our perspective,” says Kirkland Lake’s president and CEO Tony Makuch, who has been appointed to the same position in the merged entity, which will operate under the Agnico Eagle moniker after the deal is completed, either in December or early in 2022. “Both companies have been industry leaders in growing share value,” Makuch continues.

Kirkland Lake has delivered shareholder value from rapid production growth and lower unit costs over the last four years following timely acquisitions and investments in exploration at its three gold mining operations, in Ontario, Canada (Macassa, Detour Lake) and Victoria, Australia (Fosterville). Meanwhile, Agnico Eagle has continued to hold its position as one of Canada’s senior gold miners with a precious metals production history dating back to 1957. Today, the company’s operations can be found across Canada as well as in miningfriendly Mexico and Finland.

Merging neighbourhoods Of the many synergies between the two businesses, perhaps the most apparent – certainly from a geographical perspective – is the opportunity for the new company to establish a dominant position in one of the world’s leading gold regions; the Abitibi-Greenstone Belts






of Northeastern Ontario and

at Kirkland Lake’s Macassa

A Kirkland Lake crew is

Northwestern Québec.

mine and its shuttered Holt

currently in the process of

mill in Ontario.

sinking the No. 4 shaft at

Combined, the company will

the Macassa mine. Makuch

produce almost 2 million

In the Kirkland Lake region

says that same crew can be

ounces (Moz) of gold per

of Ontario, the companies

readily deployed to assist in

annum from the region, with

have a unique opportunity

the development of the Agnico

over 16 Moz in reserves, along

to combine the Macassa

Eagle projects.

with a platform for exploration

and Holt operations with

and development projects

Agnico’s nearby Amalgamated

“We have also built surface

and existing infrastructure,

Kirkland, Upper Beaver and

ramps at Macassa down to 300

including mills at Agnico’s

Upper Canada gold projects,

metres, which can be used to

LaRonde and Goldex mines in

in what is one of the biggest

create exploration platforms

Québec and processing plants

single value drivers for the

at the Amalgamated Kirkland




property, adjacent to Macassa.

particularly with regards

provides an opportunity to

Then you have then chance

to underground mining

leverage each other’s expertise

to grow a 250-350,000 ounces


in areas where one company is

per annum new business in

more advanced than the other.

Kirkland Lake, leveraging

“We talk about a ‘cultural fit’

the existing mills and tailings

and one example of this is that

Makuch added: “Agnico are


both companies have a strong

leaders in terms of innovation

focus on underground mining

at their mines, specifically in

This is a great example of the

and have been underground

relation to automation and

merger being able to create a

miners for a long time,”

digitalisation underground at

larger platform encompassing

Makuch explains. In fact, both

LaRonde. We are doing this

multiple operations in a single

companies are widely regarded

at Macassa now and we will

region and the opportunity

as world-leaders in deep

be able to implement these

to cross-pollenate ideas,

underground mining, which

changes quicker because


1 28


Agnico has the technology in place and the working platform.”

Eyes on exploration Further evidence of the aforementioned cultural fit is provided by both partners’ focus on exploration as a key value driver. Investors in Kirkland Lake can attest to the company’s significant exploration success across its three cornerstone assets.

“We’ve spent almost $190 million in exploration this year, and we see the same culture and fit with Agnico in terms of their focus on exploration. I see some significant exploration upside in Agnico’s portfolio in Northwestern Québec and Northeastern Ontario, plus at other assets around the world” – Tony Makuch, Kirkland Lake Gold president and CEO 129

At Fosterville in Australia, Kirkland Lake has achieved year-on-year exploration success since acquiring the mine in 2016. In the same time frame, the company has more than doubled reserves at Macassa. Meanwhile at Detour Lake, a 10 Moz increase in measured and indicated mineral resources (exclusive of mineral reserves) was recently announced after over a year of significant exploration success.


STOCK TICKER: TSX:KL, NYSE:KL, ASX:KLA MARKET CAPITALISATION: US$12.04 billion (as of October 20, 2021) aj

13 0


The Company’s extensive drilling programme is continuing, and Makuch believes that there remains considerable potential for additional growth in mineral reserves and mineral resources at Detour Lake, given the project’s 1,000 km2 land position in very favourable geology in the Abitibi region. “We’ll spent almost $190 million on exploration at our three key assets, and we see


STOCK TICKER: TSX:AEM, NYSE:AEM MARKET CAPITALISATION: US$13.9 billion (as of October 20, 2021) aj

1 31

the same culture and fit with Agnico in terms of their focus on this crucial part of the gold mining business. I see some significant exploration upside in Agnico’s portfolio in Northwestern Québec and Northeastern Ontario, plus at other assets around the world.” For example, Agnico’s Kittilä mine in Finland is the largest primary gold producer in Europe, with a significant resource and reserve currently in place. However, Agnico has drilled holes down to 2,000 metres that are showing significantly higher grades and widths than what is currently being mined closer to surface. “It’s an area that is wide open for exploration. There are other juniors in the region that are exploring and having success. It’s also similar geology to what we see in the Abitibi, so we’re pretty excited about what can happen there,” Makuch says.




Over in Nunavut – where Agnico has the distinction of being the only gold producer in the entire territory – the companies believe that the giant Meliadine mine has significant exploration upside, while the Amaruq satellite project has the ability to replace and grow reserves from the open pit Meadowbank mine 50 km away. Then there is the Northernmost Hope Bay project, which is in its infancy and set to become a source of new gold reserves for years to come with the right amount of investment in aggressive exploration. Finally, Agnico is working on a couple of exploration properties in Mexico – an unfamiliar jurisdiction to Kirkland Lake, but one that excites Makuch nonetheless. “We both know that to unlock value through exploration you need to spend money on drill holes. We’ve been doing that

1 33

companies see themselves

areas where we can have a

Combining ESG values

significant impact in terms of

Additional synergies lie

stewards in the regions they

extensions of known systems

within Kirkland Lake and

operate, which has brought

and new discoveries that can

Agnico Eagle’s unwavering

about commitments to net

create new value, similar to

commitment to creating value

zero emissions by 2050 or

what we’ve done at Fosterville,

through responsible mining


at Macassa and what we’re

and sustainable development,

currently doing at Detour

which are ensconced in the

“Kirkland Lake and Agnico


overarching ESG concept. Both

are both very focused on what

and continue to focus on key

1 34

as long-term environmental


needs to be done to achieve

From a social standpoint, both

A full description of both

this goal, in terms of looking

companies have developed

companies’ ESG commitments

at alternative fuels for how

strong working relations

can be found in their annual

we operate equipment at our

with local indigenous groups.

sustainability reports,

mines, alternative ways to

These relationships are built

which are becoming thicker

extract gold and better ways

on the premise of respect

documents by the year.

to treat the land and the water

and recognition of the need

Makuch recognises the

that we use.”

to partner with all regional

importance of ESG reporting


and acknowledges that Kirkland Lake can learn

1 35

1 36


from Agnico Eagle’s more

operational, financial and ESG

Makuch concludes: “We

comprehensive style of

point of view.

have a strong track record

sustainability disclosure.

for achieving operational As always, one of the key

excellence and delivery

On a personal note, Makuch

focus areas for Kirkland Lake

of strong financial results

cannot wait to get started

in 2021 has been improving

that create value for our

in his position at the helm

the workplace for its people,

shareholders, our people and

of the combined company,

promoting health and safety

our communities. We see

which will bring together

and reducing workplace

similar strong performance

two very talented teams. “My

injuries. According to Makuch:

and results coming out of

experience is in mining and

“As a company we aim to


is focused on people; you see

provide a safe workplace and

that same focus on people at

all workers are committed to

“What that demonstrates is

Agnico,” he said.

working safely for themselves

that our merger is creating

and others. We’ve made

a true industry leader in

“I’m excited to start working

significant improvements but

the gold sector, one that

with some really good people

still have a long way to go.

warrants a premium valuation

and be able to build ideas

Fundamentally we don’t want

and is well positioned to

for how we take our assets

anybody hurt on the job. That’s

generate superior long-term

to the next level, which will

a big part of what we’re trying

shareholder value. We also

definitely involve the prism of

to accomplish in 2021 and

both return significant capital

automation, digitisation and


to shareholders through

new innovations.”

dividends - in the case of On the operational side,

Kirkland Lake, our share

Kirkland Lake expects to

repurchase programme - and

achieve the top half of its full-

with the combined company’s

While the takeover countdown

year 2021 production guidance

substantial financial strength,

has begun in earnest, it

of 1.3–1.4 Moz. The company

it will be very exciting to

remains business as usual

is also targeting the best unit

see where that goes moving

for Kirkland Lake as it moves

cost performance among


through the final quarter

senior producers, with all-in

of what has already been

sustaining costs expected to

a successful year from an

average $790 – $810 per ounce

Business as usual

sold in 2021.



The only mining company to feature in t

1 38



the TSX30 for the third consecutive year

1 39

When the latest list of the 30 top performing companies on Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) by average three-year share price was released in the middle of September, 14 mining companies were included, matching the sector’s contribution in 2020. However, only one name from the mining industry has appeared in all three editions of the TSX30 since its launch in 2019: Wesdome Gold Mines. This recognition of the company’s consistent delivery of shareholder value over the last three years is actually the culmination of over 30 years of continuous gold mining in Canada, through various guises. The current incarnation of Wesdome is rapidly evolving into a mid-tier player in the gold space with production heading towards 200,000 ounces per annum from its assets in Val d’Or, Québec and Wawa, Ontario. President and CEO Duncan Middlemiss salutes the ‘amazing accomplishment’ of the Wesdome team for its inclusion in the TSX30 for the third year in a row. “Operational turnaround and optimisation are what facilitates our success,” he says. “The second step is investment in exploration at what we view as high potential underground properties. We’ve had operational success and have been able to fund a robust exploration programme. The third aspect of this trifecta for inclusion in the TSX30 is our jurisdiction here in Canada. Overall, we’ve got a team that delivers and we’re really proud of that.”



Since RGN last featured Wesdome in 2020, the company has continued to churn out more ounces at the Eagle River mine in Ontario, alongside brownfields exploration work across the Eagle Mine Complex and at the Kiena mine in Québec, which started producing gold again in Q3 after eight years on care and maintenance. But at the start of the year, Wesdome announced it would be divesting the remaining asset on its portfolio – the large-scale Moss Lake gold project, located 100 km West of Thunder Bay in Ontario – to Canadian junior Goldshore Resources for a total fee of C$57 million. “We wanted to remain focused on our core high-grade underground operations, which are best suited to this team’s DNA if you ask me. We like Moss Lake but recognise there will have to be a lot of heavy lifting in order to advance the project,” Middlemiss explains.

1 41

“We sold the asset but retain meaningful exposure to the Moss Lake gold deposit through our equity position in Goldshore. This is a very well respected junior company in the space; a lot of the individuals have a good track record and that’s good for our shareholders in terms of upside participation. It’s also great to see investment in the ground at Moss Lake, after Goldshore started to drill there recently.”

1 42


Restarting Kiena

The project’s average annual

There has also been significant

gold production is estimated

news flow coming out of

at 84,000 ounces per year with

Wesdome this year with

all-in sustaining costs at $676

regards to the Kiena mine. In

per ounce over a current seven

Q2, the company published

year mine life. However, the

a pre-feasibility study (PFS)

company expects to build

for the restart project,

significantly greater value

which headlined with an

into the Kiena mine through

IRR of 98% and an after-tax

optimisation and exploration

NPV(5%) of US$367 million at

and is already delivering on

a conservative gold price of

this after the discovery of the

$1,600 per ounce.

Footwall Zone in Q1.

1 43



Since the discovery of this

looking at production rates

The report also noted a

new high-grade gold zone

of around 65,000 ounces per

further alignment with the

in the footwall of the Kiena

annum until we reach 100,000

Sustainability Accounting

Deep A Zone, Wesdome

ounces after that. There’s

Standards Board reporting

has undertaken drilling in

good opportunity to grow that

standard for Metals & Mining.

order to further define the

already with the Footwall Zone

“What’s really come out of

mineralisation within the 50

discovery, which remains open

this ESG focus is the fact that

metres wide corridor. None

laterally and along plunge.”

we have to do a better job

of these potential ounces

reporting on what we do and

were baked into the Kiena

Eyes on ESG

PFS, which is why Middlemiss

Wesdome’s ESG report for

junior company and definitely

describes the study as ‘a base

2020 was published in June,

hitting above our weight

case’, with the potential for

in another important news

class, so we had to get more

expansion now in clear view.

release for the company and

technical help in.”

how we do it. We’re a fairly

its stakeholders. The second The company was able to

annual report of its kind

restart the 2,000 tonnes per

provided a comprehensive

day (tpd) mill at Kiena in July

overview of the company’s

and has been processing ore

ESG performance last year,

since then, largely thanks to

along with ongoing strategies,

the sound condition of the

policies and commitments.

mill and mine throughout the entire period of care and

During the year, Wesdome

maintenance, along with the

committed $56 million to local

preparatory work undertaken

procurement expenditures

by Wesdome since the restart

(resembling 36% of total

was approved by the board in

procurement expenditures)


from the Eagle River and Kiena complexes, in a continuation

“We see Q3-Q4 as a ramp up

of its long-term role as a

period at Kiena,” Middlemiss

positive socio-economic actor

says. “Then I think 2022 and

in the regions close to its

2023 will be base case years


“In the next 18 months we’re going to be tracking towards a total of 200,000 ounces per annum production. We’ve certainly delivered operational improvements and that’s been beneficial for our shareholders, which goes back to our recognition on the TSX30” – Duncan Middlemiss, Wesdome Gold Mines president and CEO

1 45

Here, Middlemiss is referring to the appointment of Joanna Miller last year as the company’s director for sustainability and environment. In this role, she draws on her experience in stakeholder engagement and community investment campaigns across Canada to deliver positive social and environmental outcomes in Québec and Ontario. “Last year’s report was much more polished compared to


STOCK TICKER: TSX:WDO MARKET CAPITALISATION: US$1.1 billion (as of October 06, 2021) j



the previous year and I expect that trend to continue. I think we’re all in this together and we have to act responsibly for our employers and our communities in which we operate in globally,” says the chief executive.

Exploring Eagle River Wesdome’s Eagle River mine, located along Ontario’s Mishibishu Greenstone Belt, has been in production for well over 25 years now and remains one of the richest gold mines on the planet. In fact, the 12.8 g/t gold grade reported in Q1 makes Eagle River the 5th highest grade gold mine in the world. However, the company’s recent brownfields exploration efforts show there is potentially decades of life left in this mature mining complex. Eagle River is situated on a 20 km mineralised shear zone, although all of the mine’s resources to date have been extracted from just a 2.5 km diorite intrusive plug.


“We’re very excited about the Falcon Zone. The mineralisation and reserves and resources sitting out in the surrounding volcanics has just opened up another 18 km of strike length for us to continue exploring”

But the discovery of the

opened up another 18 km of

Falcon Zone in nearby

strike length for us to continue

volcanic rock outside of the


diorite has transformed the company’s perception of the

“We started to mine our first

geology at Eagle River while

stope [from the Falcon Zone

providing an opportunity to

in Q3] so we’re excited about

enhance reserves and improve

that too. We think there is a

operational flexibility.

certain amount of repeatability in terms of mineralisation

“We’re very excited about

through the volcanics, which is

the Falcon Zone. The

something we will be looking

mineralisation and reserves

at in the future.”

and resources sitting out in the surrounding volcanics has just



In addition, Wesdome has

“Ultimately the goal would be

And while Wesdome is just

just started getting into some

- with exploration success - to

getting started at Kiena, it

surface exploration drilling

fill the mill with high-grade

has set a guidance of 15-

for parallel zones, employing

Eagle River ore, since we will

25,000 ounces of gold in 2021,

cutting-edge science and

finish mining from the lower

ahead of its first full year of

rigour to its programmes in

grade Mishi pit this year.”

production in 2022. “I think in

a comprehensive manner for

the next 18 months we’re going

the first time at Eagle River,

A golden year

according to Middlemiss.

As we enter the final quarter

of 200,000 ounces per annum

of 2021, Middlemiss casts


to be tracking towards a total

“We’d love to discover

his mind towards the annual

something like the Falcon

production and cost guidance

“That’s quite a milestone as

Zone again around the existing

made by the company earlier

this company started with

mine infrastructure. That’s a

in the year. The production

just 50,000 ounces back in

win-win situation where you’re

guidance for Eagle River was

2016. Kiena was closed and

able to feed the mill with ready

92,500-105,000 ounces – a

didn’t have the best prospects

production and then have

larger range than normal due

until the discovery of the A

something in the pipeline

to ongoing uncertainty around

Zone and Eagle River wasn’t

which can be turned on later.”

the pandemic and availability

firing on all cylinders. There’s

of manpower.

been a lot of balls in the air,

Wesdome is targeting an

but we’ve certainly delivered

increased mining rate of 650

We’re sitting at 53,000 ounces

operational improvements

tpd in 2021, which is still

produced in the first half, so

and that’s been beneficial for

less than the total nameplate

I don’t see any issue hitting

our shareholders, which goes

capacity of 850 tpd at Eagle

our guidance and really over

back to our recognition on the

River’s mill, although the

100,000 ounces should be


firm is looking to bridge

our goal this year. There is a

the gap with reserves from

little bit of cost pressure due

new underground zones

to the inflationary conditions

(including Falcon), as well as

in the wider market. But we

infrastructural developments

can mitigate that by becoming

such as increased ventilation

smarter and more productive.”

capacity and renewal of the fleet.

1 49


Future Minerals Summit Saudi Arabia welcomes you to the first ever Future Minerals Summit January 11-13, 2022 | Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Mining has been designated the third pillar of Saudi Arabia’s industry, as part of the Kingdom’s attempts to diversify away from oil under the Saudi Vision 2030. The first ever Future Minerals Summit in Riyadh will connect global policy makers with investors and business leaders across the global mining value chain. Over 2,000 attendees are confirmed, including

150 investors, 100 mining corporates and more than 15 ministers and heads of state. The Summit programme aims to shape the future of mining with a focus on three main themes: mining’s contribution to society, re-imagining mining and investing in new and emerging mining regions.

Register Here

IMARC + Expo  Where global mining leaders connect with technology, finance and the future  January 31 - February 02, 2022 | Melbourne, Australia + online  Due to ongoing travel restrictions and the rise of COVID-19 infections around Australia, the 2021 IMARC + Expo has been rescheduled to a new slot in early 2022. The event will continue to take place in a hybrid format, with those able to attend in-person set to gather at the Melbourne Showgrounds. International attendees from more than 100 countries will still have full access to the programme via

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the online platform. Over three packed days, the conference will cover all aspects of the mining supply chain, from exploration to investment, production, optimisation through to new technologies and global opportunities. Meanwhile, across the 13,000m2 expo floor more than 200 leading companies will showcase the latest mining projects, equipment and innovations.


Mining, oil & gas and renewable energy events from around the world

Mines and Money Online Connect Online Connect returns to your screens for the first virtual event of 2022 January 25-27, 2022 | Virtual The now ubiquitous Mines and Money Online Connect returns to the screens of investors, financiers, and industry professionals this January for virtual networking, knowledge sharing and discussions on the most important issues facing the industry. The 3-day event offers senior management teams of mining companies the opportunity to continue to connect and meet face-to-

face with carefully qualified investors from institutional funds, private equity groups, family offices and private investors to discuss project updates and share presentations virtually. Join in on the conversation and listen to keynote presentations, panel discussions and pitch battles from the comfort of your own desk.

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PDAC Convention The 90th annual PDAC Convention to take place in a hybrid format March 07-09 (Toronto), March 10-11 (virtual), 2022 In 2022, the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) will deliver its 90th annual convention under a hybrid format for the first time in its history. The world’s premier mineral exploration and mining event will run in Toronto for three days, followed immediately by a twoday online event in March for those unable to travel and attend in-person. Over the past

decade alone, the must-attend event has brought together upwards of 30,000 attendees from over 130 countries annually to network, conduct business, and learn about the latest trends and technologies shaping the sector. This year looks to be no different despite the new format style due to changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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reports live from Future Minerals Summit Riyadh, Saudi Arabia