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Friday, March 16, 2018

Porphyry preamble

Ahh porphyries, conjuring vision of untold riches hidden in the bleak hills of the Andes or the mosquito infested jungles of Indonesia and Colombia.

However, ignoring the BS that explo-cos spout about their project being great because in reality, most aren't.

The CAPEX for a decent sized porphyry (or any large scale mine) typically run into the billions. No junior company can ever develop them, and so the best that they can do is entice a major to fund the project beyond the resource drilling stage.

However, ignoring the FOMO-mania that happens when metal prices go crazy, in general, most mining companies like to focus on projects that can support a minimum production profile, for example:
  • 100,000 tonnes of copper or 100,000 ounces of gold a year for >10 years
The idea is that the project will pay back the CAPEX (a novel idea), produce lots of cash for many years.

Here is a nice chart from the USGS (link) that displaying CuEq% grade vs tonnage for various copper deposits. Porphyries sit towards the large but low grade end of the spectrum. I've added some annotations and some well known projects.

blue crosses = porphyry projects

Remember: this chart uses the total resources for a project. Many projects have a high-grade core or are a combination of heap leach oxide and higher grade sulfide ores (with economics and cut-offs).

Smaller and/or lower grade projects do get developed, but often they are brownfield projects adjacent to an operation that mined a neighboring higher grade deposit.

What you want is:

  • A project that is in the top right part of the chart = takeover target 
  • An exploration stage project that shows the potential to get into the top right area.
What you want to look for are projects that are a decent size >200Mt and a reasonable grade - around 0.6% CuEq or >1 g/t AuEq, or show the potential to get there.

However, grade and tonnes aren't the only factors that impact a project's economics, but it is a good starting point.




86 comments:

  1. Have you looked at the new Cornerstone capital ecuader project in JV with aussie junior STM. Any potential? Only ask because looks like same team that acquired and explored cascabel for solgold involved.

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  2. Hi Sir,
    I don't want to call you angry Geo because you are not. You are very smart and you have remarkable knowledge when it comes to mining.

    However, you never mention if you have invested in any of those mines that are listed in North America particularly in Canada.

    If you have at list 1 or 2 mines to recommend I will appreciate very much!?

    Thanks a lot Rocco

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  3. What you want to avoid are projects that are a decent size >200Mt and a reasonable grade - around 0.6% CuEq or >1 g/t AuEq, or show the potential to get there.

    Don't you mean avoid projects which aren't at least a decent size .........

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    1. Thanks for picking up on that typo, what I wanted to say was - look for projects that are a decent size and grading >0.6% CuEq

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    2. Ahh! A typo! Well that clears up my confusion too. It didn't make any sense to me to avoid the aforementioned projects.

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    3. Slight disconnect between brain and hands. I'm guessing that there was too much blood in my alcohol stream

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  4. ("around 0.6% CuEq or >1 g/t AuEq, or show the potential") sounds good but you need to know how to do analyses like Angry Geologist does to make a killing.
    I usually go with the crowed and the trend when buying penny stocks, but most of the time I buy big names like G, ABX, AEM to make 10 to 20%

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  5. Nice "preamble" Angrygeo! Preamble to what? I am looking at MUX and Los Azules, similar to Taca Taca (which at least one fool thinks can be developed as a mine). I have always liked the Los Azules project despite the hurdles it needs to overcome. Probably the nice cross sections (higher grades near surface, deposit is more horizontal vs vertical, low strip). I'm a sucker for nice cross sections.

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    1. Hello Tom,

      I'm looking at reviewing several porphyry projects and wanted to outlined some background (to avoid repeating myself).

      The big issue with Los Azules is it remoteness (i.e. lack of infrastructure), and at TT they have a >1% starter pit zone. If these projects were in Chile, I'm guessing that both wiuld be mines

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    2. Agreed on Los Azules, they do have a higher grade core averaging ~0.70% copper that front loads the NPV otherwise it would be a dud. And I'm guessing you are referring to political/fiscal/regulatory instability in Argentina that retards large CAPEX projects?

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    3. I can suggest you to have a look at the beutong project in Indonesia ;) It falls just within the topright corner with plenty of drilling still to come. Also Capex would be rather low (guesstimated at 800mil) due to a potential starters pit & nearby infrastructure.

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    4. This Beutong project will never be developed as a mine.

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    5. Hi Tom, I see you have some knowlegde on the topic, why would you conclude atm that it will never be developed? They have a team that has done it before, they have the size and grade, starting near surface, they have the infrastructure nearby, the rock is very similar to their BKM project that is leachable and will be SC_EW producing direct copper cathode, therfore bypassing the export ban. CoW agreements are almost finalised. If these last two are confirmed, this will be picked off or JV'ed to a bigger player. Always open to hear any ftal flaws in this project

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    6. I suppose there is a chance if they find a very large porphyry core at depth. Otherwise I don't see an in-pit resource to convince me, I don't see a heap leach of secondary copper sulfides as a realistic possibility or one that would interest a buyer/financing. I believe Martabe switched from heap leach, and that wasn't surrounded by Protected Forest or at headwaters, but you can correct me if I'm wrong. Also it's Aceh so there are the usual shenanigans. Not sure even the project in Kalimantan can get off the ground.

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  6. Any mid sized operator out there would love to have a 200Mt project at 0.6% Cu Eq. That's a great project nowadays. (I don't know of any in that category here in BC.) That said, the greatest uncertainty in almost all projects is the resource estimate. It pays to understand the geological model..how it was done and who did it. Other major factors influencing economics are potential mining method, strip ratio (if open pit) and minerology.

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    1. Hello Bill,

      They don't seem to be, they are looking for projects that are a little bigger - say 500Mt @ 0.6% CuEq or better. Exceptions could be made for a 200Mt @ 1% CuEq, but the CAPEX is now a killer

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    2. Well if a larger one came along I certainly wouldn't ignore it. Capex is not the killer you suggest. Projects are far more sensitive to grade or recovery than capex. Capex for 200 Mt at 10Mtpa would be about 550+- million, depending on location. That's doable for single mine companies. Equipment leasing will lower the up front loading, at the expense of later cash flow of course. By the way, 0.6% CuEq is US $40/tonne rock at $3 Cu. No open pit in BC is close to that and no project (except perhaps Prosperity) is close either.

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    3. I should have mentioned above that I understand the 200 Mt to be reserves, not resources. If we are talking resources it would have to be constrained by an economic pit shell.

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    4. I'm using 0.6% CuEq assuming 100% recovery and assigned to resources. I would be interested to see 10Mta projects that were built for $500m CAPEX. To me, they use that figure in PEAs but suffer from cost blow-outs once construction starts.

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    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    6. Well...for starters...Copper Mountain. CAPEX was $438M. Original thoughput design was 35ktpd but it is running at arund 40ktpd. CuEq for 2017 was less than 0.4% Original reserve base was 216Mt. I don't recall original CuEq but it was far less than 0.6%.

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    7. Edited to add that I agree most PEA's underestimate Capex. They usually quote plus or minus but I've never seen one actually built for minus. In CMMC's case the mine was financed 25% by its partner, 25% by equity and 50% by loans. It was built on time and on budget.

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    8. Thanks Bill,

      Good to see that there are a few projects that get built on time and to budget, which is often the exception rather than the rule.

      You may squeeze in Kemess, but I'm not sure that they would be included in the wildly successful and highly profitable mines

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    9. The updated Kemess North project was switched from open pit to block cave because of lack of space for acid generating waste. This limited production to roughly 100 Mt, which is what the Kemess South pit could hold. I haven't kept track of their recent work but they will require more waste and tailings storage if they go beyond the capacity of the old pit.

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    10. Copper Mountain is trading at a very low valuation, I don't think the market considers it a "success" at this point. But yes it got successfully built and is generating cash flow and looks like it might even be able to generate a decent ROI. Credit to the mgmt but also location has a lot to do with it (including power from BC Hydro).

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    11. All good points Tom, but the main issues were whether one could build a 10Mtpa plant for under $550M and whether one could successfully attract investment if CuEq was less than 0.6%. The answer is yes to both.

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    12. In that particular case, yes, as a general rule, probably no.

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    13. Copper mountain is a bit different as it was a historic operation, so potentially may of the hurdles facing the development of a greenfield project weren't present (I'm not saying that they were able to use all of the historic infrastructure, but they would have had access and services to site that wouldn't be the case for other projects).

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  7. Hello Mr geo, sorry for my ignorance but I really don't know what it means the "CAPEX"
    Can you explain !?
    Thanks in advance
    Rocco

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    1. In this case I'm using CAPEX (CAPital EXpenditure) to refer to the amount of money required to build a mine

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  8. How does this relate to Solgold given that today Newcrest have just published a further feasibility study for Wafi Golpu (similar orebody to Alpala - block cave) and the high grade area at Alpala is still growing?

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    1. The idea is that you can plot the grades and tonnes for your favorite porphyry project on the chart to see where it falls. However, for Alpala and Wafi, they'll probably be underground mines, so it is a little bit more complicated

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  9. I like MUX...I have done very well with MUX over the years

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    1. Bob knows what he is doing and have the clout in the industry to do things slightly different.

      El Gallo is a perfect example. For most companies it is too small to have been developed. No major would have been involved and no junior could have raised funds for its development. But now it is a decent, profitable mine that has allowed MUX to grow.

      I doubt that anyone else could have put El Gallo into production.

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    2. and a follow-on. If you look at MUX's projects. They are all too small for major companies to develop (generally <1Moz Au), but they have decent grades (generally >1 g/t Au).

      MUX seem to be focusing on the small, low-ish CAPEX projects (ignoring Los Azules) that can allow them to build several (profitable) 50K Au/year mines. It is a good business plan that most companies are ignoring.

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  10. What does this mean in the plain ENGLISH thanks...
    "500Mt @ 0.6% CuEq or better. Exceptions could be made for a 200Mt @ 1% CuEq, but the CAPEX is now a killer"

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    1. Hello Rocco.

      Basically it means that for a project to be bought by a major company it needs to contain resources of at least 500 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.6% copper equivalent (this a combination of the copper grade and any beneficial metals - typically gold and/or molybdenum)

      However, if there is a smaller project (e.g. 200 million tonnes) at a higher grade (1% CuEq) could attrat interest as many open pit copper mines are currently mining grades <1% CuEq.

      The problem with porphyries is the cost to bring them into production (CAPEX), to build a mine that produces >100,000 tonnes of copper will probably have a CAPEX of between $2-3B, and can take, if you include permits 5-10 years to build.
      As mining companies have a reputation of not being able to build projects on time or on budget, you can see that any delay or increase in the construction costs can have a large impact on the economics (particularly the net present value) of a project.

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    2. It may help to explain that most porphyries are sulfide deposits and require milling and flotation to create saleable copper concentrates. The cost to build a plant and the energy to operate it is what makes these projects so capital intensive. Some porphyries are very copper dominant and are deeply weathered, thus ameanable to heap leaching and solvent extraction. There are several such deposits in Arizona, and the economic parameters for those are a bit different. In a few cases, there are even attempts to mine these deposits by in-situ methods (Gunnison, Florence).

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    3. I'm still not convinced by in-situ leach. I've seen it work for sulfur and borate mining, but for copper oxide it doesn't seem to get beyind initial testing. Maybe it is a scaling issue.

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    4. AG, the analogy on which the DD is based has been uranium ISR. Both uranium and copper have good mobility in aqueous solution so the analogy should work. One problem at Gunnison is acid buffering by the basic rocks (gypsum). They have determined in lab that gypsum on surfaces should not prevent copper dissolution (requiring more acid to achieve leach rates) but if carbonates become suspended in solution and mobilized then we might have a fatal flaw at Gunnison. This doesn't apply to Florence as it doesn't have carbonate rocks (not a skarn). It does, however, have very close proximity to an aquifer that is being used by people as drinking water.

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  11. Thanks for the short & sweet introduction


    Rocco, try googling; Capital expenditure, or CapEx, are funds used by a company to acquire or upgrade physical assets such as property, industrial buildings or equipment.

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  12. Of course I know what is Capital Expenditure, or "CapEx", but when you are using so many abbreviations it becomes a bit confusing for me. Mining and exploration seem to have a language of its own.
    Even the minerals are not what you see what you get with your naked eyes i.e. silver, gold etc, I'm referring to last PDAC in Toronto. Only the lab can determine what it is.
    Anyways, thanks for your answer, but I think I will stick to a technical analyses, and by the way gold, cobalt, copper, zinc, oil are all starting to move up..I'm long on ABX and MUX

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  13. I really don't know what to make of this back and forth with deposits and capital investment etc? I can see you are all very educated and knowledgeable people in mining, but as far as I can say that has nothing to do with investment in the mining today and make some hard cash.

    As the Geo said it may take 10 years to get mine up and running but what do you do in meantime? You are not going to buy shares today and wait 10 years to make few dollars.

    So if you don't mind can we start talking about existing mines today where do you see the opportunities?

    Thanks all,

    Rocco

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    1. Mines are great destroyers of value. Check out Barrick's retained earnings to understand what I mean. But there is always hope Rocco. A project begins with a discovery and shares are valued accordingly. As work is done to define the discovery size and grade it adds value to the project, hence the share price. At some point it may become an operation, and if so the share price will reflect future estimated cash flow. So over time share value should increase as more becomes known.

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    2. Hello Rocco,

      That is one of the points that Exploration Insights highlight - you want to look for projects that will be acquired as there is normally a hefty premium (see HL and Klondex - HL paid > ~60% premium) which is a nice win for shareholders.

      Another thing that always interests me is that in most PEAs or feasibility studies, the initial acquisition costs are never factored in. I'm guessing that if they did, most mining development projects would be NPV negative.

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    3. Seconding Bill Mracek's point, please see here: https://www.geologyforinvestors.com/life-cycle-of-a-mineral-deposit-stock-price-implications/

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  14. I really like tsn.v
    They are putting two mines into operation significantly under budget and are expected to be profitable in 2018.

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    1. These operations are going to be tricky, the underground mining has challenges and previous operators were not up to the task. The one difference with Telson is the all-Mexican operation in-country (no gringos). If managed correctly this could be a winner, but that "managed" part remains to be seen, very difficult to pull off.

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    2. And also Nystar gave away the Campo Morado mine.

      I'm sitting on the fence as several companies that have pushed projects into production before they were ready (think Santacruz) have suffered badly. I'll have to look at their financials to see if they are making a profit or just burning through the cash advance from Trifigura

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    3. Also that 15 million cash advance is being used to fund the mill project at Tuetueto. They have sold concentrates over 2017 which are helping to fund day to day costs. Again all very early stage. It's like they just hit the beginning stages of puberty.

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  15. Hi... according to Ralph the CEO they are expected to generate a profit of around 40 mill us in 2018. That only includes campo and not likely pre production material from T.
    Anyhow looks like a great long term play and the Mexican mgmt has a great history of success.
    Glta

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    1. I wish them luck, CM has the potential to be a great medium-sized operation.

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    2. Thanks for ur comments. What are your thoughts on MEX.v?
      They are currently drilling to increase the size of the prize and recently announced some decent grades over a reasonable length. The drill is currently turning and hoping that they continue to show a continuation of the resource. Would love your opinion on that as well. Thanks and happy spring...

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    3. Ryan, Of course management is going to paint a positive picture. Not saying they can't achieve plan, only that it will be difficult. Campo Morado was previously operated by a company called Farallon so there is a production history that is publicly available and let's just say it isn't all rosy. I had extensive discussion with both the prior and new mine management at the time and we went over many of the difficulties. Some of these were cultural, which is why Telson is right to be using an all-Mexican staff. Also be aware that Campo Morado is in Guerrero, probably one of the most corrupt narco states in Mexico right now.

      As for MEX.v that could be a real winner, this is actually a Guerrero Gold Belt type magnetite-gold skarn but unfortunately it is in Veracruz. It's not so much a narco state, but the people and state government there are not very supportive of mining at all. So the share price might not reflect the value they are creating. Just about anywhere else and no way a company that drills 10 grams gold over 38 meters is going to be still worth around $10 million.

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  16. I'll be checking into TSN.v. I comment on in-situ CU at Florence. That project has been attempting (and failing) to get an aquifer permit for years and after zillions of bucks. That particular ore is highly, and we do mean highly radiometic. The operation WILL corrupt the water there for thousands of years, 100% guaranteed and that is scientifically proven. So sure, in-situ is all that, but it better be a very long way from human beings.

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    1. What do you mean by "radiometic"? It's a copper solution leached using a weak acid under rigorous hydraulic control (this is the third test well program that the EPA is requiring). In any case, Florence isn't worthwhile, we should be looking at Gunnison (Excelsior Mining). That one is hot anywhere near civilization.

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    2. I meant "not" anywhere near civilization but the Freudian slip version probably works as well.

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  17. I spent many hours examining the Curis/Taseko offense. STILL touting that hopeless project they are. The thing with radiometic ore is that it releases radioactivity as it decays. The ore at Florence is the most highly radiometric anywhere in Arizona, sooo radiometric that it rivals some in-situ uranium operations. Florence water is doomed if this offense ever gets off the ground and the HDI fukheads know it well.

    And there is no 'weak solution'. They recycle the raffinate meaning the first pass might be 'like vinegar' but concentrations increase with every pass. Scuzzybags leave that part out, naturally.

    20 year old holes from BHP at Florence are fully whacko to this day.

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    1. Hmmm not aware of radon levels and also what do you mean by "concentrations increase with every pass"? Are you talking about acidity, because that can be easily controlled by diluting. They wouldn't want to have the "raffinate" too acidic as that will actually start to dissolve more than just the copper. If you are talking about increase in radon concentration, I don't see any studies or references on that so they must be hiding it very well.

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    2. Radon is a gas. It will collect in your basement but is easily flushed with a fan. There would not be any radon in the leachate.

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    3. Radon dissolves in ground water. Leachate is mainly ground water. Therefore radon will be in the leachate.

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    4. Yes it dissolves in groundwater, but when exposed to air the radon is released. It can be easily removed by aeration.

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  18. Seeing as the HDI boyotards are having no problems corrupting folks water forever I'll be resurrecting this material from 2002. Yup, 6 years later. I know the 'Tenorm' document is still on the EPA website, somewhere. Anyway the issue is plenty more profound than just radon. After mucho work I can state with certainty that the Florence project is just about as bad as it can get. The word immoral is easily applied to the HDI group. (Stay tuned to the blog, I'll spell it out plain soon.)

    http://drstoxxman.blogspot.ca/2018/02/tenorm-at-florence.html

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    1. The key word in this material is "leachable". That means hydraulic control is meaningless.

      Economics demands the raffinate be recycled, Lord knows how many times. Dilution ain't an option.

      A body needs to wade through plenty of obscure material, but it's there. Naturally the HDI boys, after pizzing away $ 60m+ aren't offering it up to concerned citizens.

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    2. Ok I found the study, so we are talking about *increasing* concentration of radionuclei in the leach solution and the possibility this may contaminate drinking water or surface areas near the SX-EW plant. I also found the study conducted for Asarco's Santa Cruz ISR pilot wells and this also had elevated radionuclei. I'm not aware how risk mitigation would work especially near a residential area like Florence. I suppose in part the pilot project will determine the levels of this "TENORM" that get leached, yet the point about increasing the concentration over time is at least on the surface a serious concern. To be clear, I'm not in favor of the Florence project because of the strong opposition by the local community and this "TENORM" issue would certainly be something that concerns me if I were to live near the project.

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    3. The bigger issue is how an NGO could spin it negatively and sway the NIMBYs

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    4. Yes that's true, people are normally not concerned by radioactivity at all, it takes a huge effort of misinformation to get them to worry. Radionuclei are actually very good for you as the radiation hormesis hypothesis has clearly been proven by the Taipei studies of buildings contaminated with Cobalt-60 rebar. Therefore, I predict many new residents will actually flock to Florence once the ISR project is in production in order to take advantage of the hormesis, much like people used to flock to mineral springs for their health effects. ;)

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  19. It angers me greatly how the HDI boyos "do" business. The levels of political shenanigans attempted to bypass local opposition ought to be a crime. These capitalists both KNOW the inevitable and don't care one damn iota. Nowhere on earth has in-situ NOT corrupted ground water.

    A decade and very likely $ 100m later and this testing will show exactly what BHP found 25 odd years ago ... that rock is far too damn hot to touch, ever. That's why they walked.

    And to fork with that rock in the middle of an aquifer people rely on in the desert? It's grossly immoral and offensive, period.

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  20. How important are the recovery rates of each metal in relation to the overall economics of a poly-metallic porphyry deposit?

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    1. Very important! Projects are most sensitive to metal price, throughput, recovery and costs in that order. Throughput and recovery are roughly equal. A one percent increase in either one will result in a one percent increase in metal output.

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    2. I agree with Bill, one of the issues I have with equivalent grades is that they take no account of the recovery (i.e. they assume 100% recovery). There is always going to be a portion (and in some cases a large portion) of the metals of interest that cannot be recovered economically.

      For Example - if we take Wafi-Golpu
      Cu recovery = 93%
      Au recovery = 61%

      Lahir - Au recovery = 85%

      Also, recoveries vary by the ore grade, at Pinto valley
      Low grade ore (0.2-0.5% Cu) = 80-85% Recovery
      >0.5% Cu ores = >90% Recovery.
      However, the Moly recovery at Pinto is only 48%.

      You'll generally find that in Cu-Au porphyries (i'm being very generic here) - Cu and Au will have the best recoveries (because they are the principal metals of interest), and byproducts like Ag and Mo will generally have lower recoveries (45-60%)

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    3. I don't much like equivalent grades either. I prefer NSR because it incorporates recovery along with smelter/transportation costs. It's relatively easy to build NSR as a parameter into the resource model for learch grossman pit optimization. That said, recovery is still very important to economics, which is why metallurgists conduct recovery vs grind work.

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  21. I've got a summary of the Florence offense posted for anybody interested. The HDI group are a horrid case study vis-a-vis assaults against folks and the environment. Money is nada object.

    https://drstoxxman.blogspot.ca/

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  22. Has anyone ever looked at Bell Copper? Rio Tinto just basically gave their 55% share in the project back for free, but their CEO/geologist seems sure he's on to something (of course he should believe that) . Having no geological background I have no idea what to make of it.

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    1. I'll have a look, but essentially Bell Copper have hit weak indications of a porphyry (note - not all porphyries are mineralized), but it looks to be deep and not very special.

      However, as this part of Arizona does host several very large deposits, companies like Rio will conduct some exploration as a "just in case" review to see if the property could host something big.

      The data I saw in the technical report isn't great, but hypothetically (with a lot of luck) could be the far edge of a system.

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    2. Thanks for the information! For starters I wasn't sure if all porphyries are mineralized, so thats something I've learned for now!

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  23. It is my understanding that Rio Tinto's thresh hold is a minimum of 5MT contained copper. I assume that includes a high grade core for a starter pit, and an average grade of .6% copper equivalent or higher.

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    1. Many companies have a lower limit for many types of deposits.
      Porphyry copper - 2MT or 5Mt contained copper (depending on the grade and size of company), at a grade >0.5% Cu
      Gold - most majors are looking for projects with >5Moz Au at a decent grade (which varies by area, but >0.8 g/T AuEq is a safe bet)
      Zn+/-Pb - >10Mt at >8%ZnEq

      Or something similar

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  24. I would very much like to read your opinion on the FPX Decar property. Low grade (non porphyry but analogous) in terms of tonnage and grade. This is an unusual nickel play.

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    1. I'll have a look, but it is too low grade, capex is huge and a good chunk of the Nickel is unrecoverable in silicates. have a look at Boliden's Kevitsa mine - it is higher grade (but smaller), and not hugely profitable. Unless there is a high-grade core, grading >0.4% Ni, this project is going nowhere.

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    2. Do you agree with the quite prevalent claim that there are very few nickel projects in the "pipeline"?

      If ore grade and the market price of the metal have precisely the same impact of mine economics, is it really a good idea to classify open-pit projects by grade? Would not $/tonne of ore be a better measure?

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    3. Hello Layman - I may not fully agree with that, we don;t know how many Ni projects are sitting in the hands of majors? e.g. the Sakatti project (Anglo American - http://fem.lappi.fi/c/document_library/get_file?folderId=3913831&name=DLFE-32482.pdf) is a decent deposit in Finland.

      The Enterprise deposit in Zambia (First Quantum minerals) - https://www.first-quantum.com/Our-Business/Development-Projects/Trident/Enterprise/Enterprise-Reserves-and-Resources/default.aspx

      I think what is true, is that there aren't that many decent Ni projects in the hands of Junior companies at the moment.

      Deposit valuation - this is very hard, each deposit is different and you have to factor in not just the grade and metal prices, but the recovery, capex and many other factors. A better measure would be the $NSR/tonne, but for the majority of projects, there isn't enough information available to calculate it.

      That is why it is good to have a few 'rule of thumb' factors to quickly assess the majority of projects to see if they are good or bad and then look at the better projects in more detail to see if there are any fatal flaws.

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    4. Interesting projects but both sulfide and with at least one underground. Also with significant byproduct credits.

      The factors you mention are what make it so difficult to evaluate the Decar project. Low grade yes, but the grades are based on Davis Tube assays so the only recovery losses will be in gravity concentration. Concentrate apparently upgrade easily with some loss of nickel. Con could be 30% nickel or even higher.

      The only awaruite analogue I can find is a small loop on the flow-sheet of the Royal Nickel Dumont project and RNX claims payability for the awaruite fraction in the mid to high 90's as a percentage of LME price.

      Other oddities are: magnetic separation, no reagents, and possibly no need for smelting or refining.

      FPX has promised a revised PEA sometime in the future, but they are keeping pretty tight-lipped about the expected result.



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  25. I'm back ....Europe is beautiful..
    Thanks for the feedback re-your way of investing in the explorations insights from the beginning to the end. It was very interesting to read indeed....

    • Bill MracekMarch 19, 2018 at 1:49 PM

    The Angry GeologistMarch 20, 2018 at 7:26 AM

    However, if you would have the investment from the beginning of explorations and starting new MINE, you would have gone through huge risks of losing most of your investments.
    On another hand, if you are in the BUSINESS to do the ACQUISITION of the potential mine, then yes you have to be on lookout what is going on in the exploration (around the) world.

    I myself is also on the lookout... I look for stock that are on sale to make quick profit....GGI.V is interesting now

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