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Amazon Games opens development studio in Montreal

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With the addition of a development studio in Montreal, the Amazon Games family grows to four.This week Amazon Games announced that the Montreal studio, alongside its development teams in Seattle, Orange County, and San Diego, will focus on AAA big-budget titles and is already seeking talent. According to its careers page, the Montreal studio has…

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With the addition of a development studio in Montreal, the Amazon Games family grows to four.

This week Amazon Games announced that the Montreal studio, alongside its development teams in Seattle, Orange County, and San Diego, will focus on AAA big-budget titles and is already seeking talent. According to its careers page, the Montreal studio has eight open positions. These include positions for software developers and game artists.

According to a March 23 news release, the studio’s first project will be an online multiplayer title based on a new intellectual property.

Montreal has become a Canadian hotbed for technology talent across all fields.

Just last week, global IT services and consulting firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) announced that it’s planning to expand its Montreal presence with an addition of 600 employees.

Montreal already hosts several other gaming studios, including Ubisoft Montreal, and Eidos Montreal (a member of Square Enix).

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Spain & Portugal: The Iberian Pyrite Belt is an unparalleled depository of mineral wealth

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By Ellsworth Dickson The Iberian Pyrite Belt is a vast geographical area that is one of the world’s great regions hosting metallic mineral deposits where over 2,000 million tonnes of ore has been extracted. The belt stretches along much of the south of the Iberian Peninsula, from Portugal and into Spain. It is about 250 km long and 30–50 km wide, running northwest…

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By Ellsworth Dickson

The Iberian Pyrite Belt is a vast geographical area that is one of the world’s great regions hosting metallic mineral deposits where over 2,000 million tonnes of ore has been extracted. The belt stretches along much of the south of the Iberian Peninsula, from Portugal and into Spain. It is about 250 km long and 30–50 km wide, running northwest to southeast from Alcácer do Sal, Portugal, to Seville, Spain.

The Iberian Pyrite Belt was formed 350 million years ago in the Devonian Period, connected to active and hydrothermal volcanism that led to the formation of a volcanic-sedimentary complex. Volcanic activity in the region led to eight giant volcanogenic massive sulphide ore deposits (VMS) associated with polymetallic massive flanks of volcanic cones in the form of pyrite, chalcopyrite (copper), sphalerite (zinc), galena (lead) and cassiterite (tin). Over 250 deposits are known in the belt.

Mining has been taking place in the belt for centuries. From the eighth century BC, there was mining in the area but it was the Romans who exploited the mines on a larger scale. The southern area of Luistania, a Roman province for several centuries, was an important source of gold, silver, copper, tin, lead and iron.

Mining production in Spain decreased 15.10% in January of 2021 over the same month in the previous year, no doubt partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic protocols, making this number not typical as Spanish mine production has not been consistent.

Mineral production in Spain averaged 20,400,119.500 tonnes from December 2009 to 2018. An all-time high of 25,280,945.000 tonnes was reached in 2009 and a record low of 17,280,337.000 tonnes 2016.

Of the 100 minerals mined in Spain, 18 were produced in large quantities: bentonite, copper, fluorspar, glauberite, gold, iron, lead, magnetite, mercury, potash, pyrites, quartz, refractory argillite, sea and rock salt, sepiolitic salts, tin, tungsten, and zinc.

Similar to Spain, mining production in Portugal decreased 15.20% in January of 2021 over the same month in the previous year.

One-half of the Iberian Pyrite Belt is in Portugal, where VMS deposits such as the Neves-Corvo deposit is being mined by Lundin Mining Corp. [LUN-TSX; LUMIF-OTCQX].

The country has been the largest producer of mined copper in the EU, and beryl, dimension stone, ferroalloys, tin, and tungsten were also of international importance.

Portugal mineral production data is updated yearly, averaging 1,066,665.500 tonnes from December 2009 to 2018. In 2016, Portugal produced 74,435 tonnes of mined copper and 70,000 tonnes of mined zinc.

Due to its spectacular mineral endowment, the Iberian Pyrite Belt has been an attractive destination for Canadian exploration and mining companies. Some companies operating in Spain include Orvana Minerals Corp. [ORV-TSX; ORVMF-OTC], Pan Global Resources Inc. [PGZ-TSXV; PGNRF-OTC], Emerita Resources Corp. [EMO-TSXV; EMOTF-OTC], Almonty Industries Inc. [AII-TSX; ALMTF-OTC] and First Quantum Minerals Ltd. [FM-TSX].

Some companies operating in Portugal include Ascendant Resources Inc. [ASND-TSX; ASDRF-OTC; 2D9-FSE] with its prospective Lagoa Salgada VMS Project, Avrupa Minerals Ltd. [AVU-TSXV; AVPMF-OTC; 8AM-FSE] and Colt Resources Inc. [COLTF-OTC; P01-FSE].

Even after thousands of years of mining activity, the rich and prolific Iberian Pyrite Belt remains one of the best jurisdictions for mining in the world.

Ascendant Resources Inc. [ASND-TSX; ASDRF-OTC; 2D9-FSE] is a Toronto-based mining company focused on exploration and development of the highly prospective Lagoa Salgada volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) project, located 45km South East of Lisbon in the prolific Iberian Pyrite Belt in Portugal.

The Iberian Pyrite Belt is host to some of the world’s largest VMS deposits and mines such as Neves-Corvo (Lundin Mining Corp. [LUN-TSX; LUMI-Sweden]), Aguas Tenidas (Trafigura Mining Group) and Aljustrel (private). It represents the largest concentration of massive sulphide deposits in the world, forming an arch through Portugal, and Spain about 240 kilometres long and 35 kilometres wide.

In June 2018 Ascendant entered an agreement with TH Crestgate GmbH to acquire an initial 25% interest in its Portuguese subsidiary Redcorp – Empreendimentos Mineiros, Lda (Redcorp), which holds an 85% interest in the polymetallic Lagoa Salgada volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) Project, as well as an option to earn up to an 80% interest in Redcorp upon completion of certain milestones.

At time of purchase, Lagoa Salgada had 5.84 million tonnes of indicated resources at 8.88% zinc equivalent and 2.01 million tonnes of inferred resources at 7.82% zinc equivalent in the LS-1 Deposit and 2.22 million tonnes at 4.8% ZnEq in the LS Central Deposit. Ascendant was confident in the potential to grow and upgrade the resource, which was very near the scale and grade necessary to be an operating mine and would likely be expanded with further drilling.

Ascendant was quick to complete a PEA to confirm the validity of the project. According to a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) announced in January, 2020, 10.3 million tonnes of measured and indicated material grading 9.1% ZnEQ and 2.5 million tonnes grading 5.9% ZnEq of Inferred Resources in the North Zone, material that could support a highly profitable mining project with low cash costs.

The PEA envisaged a nine-year mine life with a production scenario of 2,700 tonnes per day. The initial capital expenditure was pegged at $162.7 million, with an estimated pay-back period of four years.

Ascendant recently announced an updated mineral resource estimate for the copper-rich South Zone. Indicated Resources in the South Zone stand at 4.4 million tonnes at a 1.51% copper equivalent. On top of that is an Inferred Resource of 7.7 million tonnes at 1.41% copper equivalent. The drill program primarily focused on step-out drilling to increase the resources along strike and resulted in an increase of Measured and Indicated Resources by 79% and Inferred Resources by 26% on the copper stockwork South Zone.

The deposit remains open to the north and south and on strike and at depth.

Ascendant is conducting a Phase 2 program consisting of 1,400 metres of drilling and downhole IP surveys in a bid to significantly increase and upgrade copper resources in the South Zone. It said the South Zone has an estimated geological strike length of 1.7 kilometres. To date, only 900 metres of this strike length has been tested.

Ascendant has recently begun PFS stage metallurgical testwork to confirm that it can achieve standard average recoveries achieved by other producers on the IBP as well as produce economically saleable concentrates.

Once metallurgical testing is complete, Ascendant will undertake a new NI 43-101 Preliminary Economic Assessment that is anticipated to combine the resources of the North and the South Zones. The consequences of this will be a significantly larger resource base with the capacity to increase the scale of the production and extend the mine life.

Combined with enhanced recoveries from the blended ore of the North and South Zones, Ascendant expects significantly more robust economics from the new PEA than was achieved in the previous PEA completed in January 2020.

The company believes there is a great disconnect between their market value and the robust economic value at Lagoa Salgada. Ascendant shares were trading at 16 cents on April 20, 2020, in a 52-week range of 26 cents and $0.08, leaving the company with a market cap of $15.07 million, based on 94.2 million shares outstanding.

We seek safe harbor.


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Dynasty Gold exploring Ontario and Nevada gold projects

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Dynasty Gold Corp. [DYG-TSXV; DGDCF-OTC; D5G-FSE] has two attractive exploration projects located in two of the most prolific gold mining regions of North America. Under an option agreement with Teck Resources Limited [TECK.B-TSX; TECK.A-TSX; TECK-NYSE], Dynasty can earn up to a 100% interest in the Thundercloud gold property located in the central Wabigoon greenstone belt…

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Dynasty Gold Corp. [DYG-TSXV; DGDCF-OTC; D5G-FSE] has two attractive exploration projects located in two of the most prolific gold mining regions of North America.

Under an option agreement with Teck Resources Limited [TECK.B-TSX; TECK.A-TSX; TECK-NYSE], Dynasty can earn up to a 100% interest in the Thundercloud gold property located in the central Wabigoon greenstone belt of northwestern Ontario. The project is situated in the vicinity of several large-scale mining operations, including New Gold Inc.’s [NGD-TSX, NYSE American] Rainy River Mine, and Evolution Mining Ltd.’s [EVN-ASX] Red Lake Gold mine.

Past drilling on the Pelham Zone has returned very impressive high-grade gold values up to 192 g/t gold over 0.55 metres, 14 g/t over 3 metres, 7.91 g/t over 9.34 metres and low-grade long intercepts starting from the surface, including 1.72 g/t over 113 metres and 2.19 g/t over 55 metres.

Four hundred metres south of the Pelham Zone, trenching in the West Contact Zone returned 8.02 g/t gold over 39 metres, including 89.4 g/t gold over 3 metres. The mineralized strike length has been extended to 69 metres by Dynasty’s 2018 field work.

This and other areas of the property have seen little drilling. Dynasty can earn an initial interest in the 2,250-hectare project by spending $6 million and issuing 1.0 million common shares to Teck.  Teck has a back-in right to earn back a 65% interest by spending $15 million.

“It is an exciting project with high-grade targets as well as bulk tonnage potential,” said Larry Kornze, Dynasty’s vice-president, exploration. Before joining Dynasty, Kornze played a key role in a Nevada gold discovery that was a foundation stone for the success of Barrick Gold Corp. [ABX-TSX; GOLD-NYSE].

Optimism is based on the fact that Fladgate Exploration Consulting was contracted in 2011 to create a 3D resource model based on drill data from an area called the Pelham Zone. The model indicated an estimated potential of 300,000 ounces with a head grade of 1.6 g/t gold, using a 0.5 g/t cut-off (5.56 million tonnes at 1.6 g/t gold).

An exploration permit application was recently granted by the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. This will allow Dynasty to complete work needed to bring the earlier resource estimate into compliance with NI 43-101 standards of disclosure.

Fladgate was commissioned last July to compile a resource estimate report based on the historic drill data which will be used to guide the next drill campaign.

In northwest Elko County, Nevada, Dynasty holds a 100% interest in the Golden Repeat Project, which consists of 49 contiguous mining claims covering 392 hectares. Golden Repeat lies on the north flank of the Midas Trough, along the Carlin Trend, which ranks as a significant ore controlling structural corridor in Nevada, with open mineralization at many points.

The geology underlying Golden Repeat is similar to that of Newmont Corp.’s [NGT-TSX; NEM-NYSE] Midas Mine (formerly Ken Synder Mine) located just 10 miles to the east. Subsequently, the mine was acquired by Hecla Mining, and hosts over 4.0 million ounces of gold.

Five holes were drilled at Golden Repeat by Romarco Minerals in 1998/99 and three by Dynasty in 2011. Romarco’s drill hole GR-05c intersected 2.41 g/t gold and 12.6 g/t silver over 1.5 metres between 25.0 to 26.5 metres. Drilling just 300 metres east of the property boundary returned 14.78 g/t over 7.6 metres gold and 25.28 g/t silver, 54 g/t gold and 27.9 g/t of silver over 1.52 metres.

A three-year drill permit has been approved by the Bureau of Land Management in Nevada for the Golden Repeat. The company may drill it alone or seek a joint venture partner to develop it.

In China, a legal dispute over a large gold mine in Xinjiang Province has raised the profile of Dynasty Gold, putting the junior and its CEO Ivy Chong on the radar screens of investors seeking undervalued situations in the resource sector.

In an interview with Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, Chong said that the Chinese partner, a state-owned company in Xinjiang China has denied Dynasty’s rights and interests in the Hatu Qi2 gold mine estimated to contain a NI 43-101 compliant resource of 536,000 ounces gold. As per The Globe and Mail‘s article titled “Canadian Firms Operate in China’s Xinjiang Region,” published on January 18, 2021, the resource was estimated to be “worth around US$1-billion at current prices.”

Dynasty has invested US$12 million in the Hatu Qi2 gold mine, and held 70% interest in the mine. Western Region Gold Co. Ltd., a unit of Chinese state-owned Xinjiang Nonferrous Metal Industry Group Co. Ltd. (XNF), held the remaining 30%.

In 2016, Western Region Gold Co. Ltd. listed the Hatu Qi2 gold mine in an initial public offering (“IPO”) on the Shanghai Stock Exchange without Dynasty’s consent. Dynasty’s 70% interest in the gold mine was not acknowledged in the prospectus, nor did Dynasty receive any proceeds from the IPO. Also, Dynasty did not share any revenue or profit from the production at the mine.

In 2016, Dynasty initiated legal action against Western Region Gold and its parent company XNF seeking compensation or restoration of the joint venture in the Xinjiang high court. However, the court in Xinjiang did not recognize the gold resource estimate compiled by independent geological consultant, SRK Canada, on the basis that it was written by a foreign company, and therefore was not in accordance with Chinese standards.

The state-owned company argued that since there was no Chinese mineable reserve, Chinese parties had no obligation to form a mining joint venture with Dynasty. Still, Dynasty can elect to resolve the dispute outside China through means available to the company in an international venue. The hope is that any financial settlement could be used to fund other assets in the junior’s portfolio, or be distributed to shareholders by way of a dividend.

“This is a very undervalued company. I don’t think there is anyone else out there with anything close to what we have at ~$4M market cap,” said Chong during an interview with Resource World.  Any good news would likely have a positive impact on the company’s shares which traded at 21 cents on April 5, 2021 in a 52-week range of 35 cents and $0.04, leaving the junior with a market cap of $4 million, based on 29 million shares outstanding. Dynasty Gold has no debt.


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Alamos Gold filing US$1 billion lawsuit against Republic of Turkey

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Alamos Gold Inc.’s [AGI-TSX, NYSE] Netherlands wholly-owned subsidiaries, Alamos Gold Holdings Cooperatief UA and Alamos Gold Holdings BV, will file an investment treaty claim against the Republic of Turkey for expropriation and unfair and inequitable treatment, among other things, with respect to their Turkish gold mining project. The claim will be filed under the Netherlands-Turkey…

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Alamos Gold Inc.’s [AGI-TSX, NYSE] Netherlands wholly-owned subsidiaries, Alamos Gold Holdings Cooperatief UA and Alamos Gold Holdings BV, will file an investment treaty claim against the Republic of Turkey for expropriation and unfair and inequitable treatment, among other things, with respect to their Turkish gold mining project.

The claim will be filed under the Netherlands-Turkey Bilateral Investment Treaty, and is expected to exceed $1 billion, representing the value of the company’s Turkish assets. All monetary amounts are in US dollars unless otherwise stated.

Alamos has had an active presence in Turkey since 2010. Over that time frame, the company’s Turkish operations have met all legal and regulatory requirements, complied with best practices relating to sustainable development, including meeting the highest environmental and social management standards, created hundreds of jobs, and developed trusting relationships with the local communities.

Alamos and its subsidiaries have invested over $250 million in Turkey, unlocked over $1 billion worth of project value, and contributed over $20 million in royalties, taxes and forestry fees to the Turkish government. Over the life of the project, government revenues alone are expected to total $551 million. Additionally, Alamos and the subsidiaries have invested $25 million to date towards various community and social initiatives.

In October 2019, well into construction of the Kirazli Gold Mine, the government failed to grant a routine renewal of the company’s mining licenses, despite Alamos having met all legal and regulatory requirements for their renewal. This past October, the Turkish government refused the renewal of the company’s Forestry Permit.

Alamos had been granted approval of all permits required to construct Kirazli, including the Environmental Impact Assessment approval, Forestry Permit, and GSM (Business Opening and Operation) permit, and certain key permits for the nearby Agi Dagi and Camyurt Gold Mines. These permits were granted by the Turkish government after the project earned the support of the local communities and passed an extensive multi-year environmental review and community consultation process.

In its effort to secure the renewal of its mining licenses, Alamos has attempted to work cooperatively with the Turkish government, has raised with the Turkish government its obligations under the Treaty, has sought to resolve the dispute by good faith negotiations, and has made considerable effort to build support among stakeholders and host communities. The Turkish government has failed to provide the company with a reason for the non-renewal or a timeline for renewal of its licenses.

The failure to renew the company’s mining licenses will result in the loss of over a half a billion dollars in future economic benefits to Turkey, including tax and other revenues, and thousands of jobs within Turkey. In addition to the lost job opportunities, this will also have a lasting impact on the local population through the disruption of ongoing investments into community projects.

“Alamos began investing in Turkey in 2010, warmly welcomed by the Turkish government through its foreign investment office. After 10 years of effort and over $250 million invested by the company, we have been shut down for over 18 months in a manner without precedent in Turkey, despite having received all the permits required to build and operate a mine. The company has worked in Turkey to the highest standard of conduct with respect to social and environmental best practices. Despite this effort, the Turkish government has given us no indication that relief is in sight, nor will they engage with us in an effort to renew the outstanding licenses. We are hopeful that the arbitration process will bring about the engagement that we have sought from the Turkish state, and lead to an equitable resolution to this impasse,” said John A. McCluskey, President and CEO of Alamos Gold.


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