Mining Mirror May 2018 - Page 11

Global projects and exploration Vital acquired the project in 2015 for its tungsten prospectivity, which was mined in Zschorlau in the western part of the permit area from quartz- wolframite veins between 1917 and 1959. Strizek said the company was keen to take a closer look at the cobalt potential at Aue. “The permit is right in the heart of Europe’s technology and manufacturing centre. We are seeing incredibly strong demand that shows no sign of slowing and the government is very supportive of the development of these technology metals. After reviewing the data we have on Aue, we are confident that using modern exploration techniques, we can unlock its potential as a cobalt play, and we are looking forward to accelerating our efforts there,” says Strizek.  Australia Rio Tinto disposes of Hail Creek Diversified mining company Rio Tinto has sold its interests in the Hail Creek coal mine and the Valeria coal development project in Queensland, Australia, to Glencore for AUD1.7-billion. The sale includes Rio Tinto’s 82.0% interest in the Hail Creek operating mine and its 71.2% interest in the Valeria project. J-S Jacques, CEO of Rio Tinto, says that the sale of Hail Creek and Valeria delivers compelling value for the company’s shareholders and continues its strategy of strengthening Rio Tinto’s portfolio, focusing on highest returns, maintaining a strong balance sheet, and allocating capital to the highest value opportunities. “We expect that Hail Creek will continue to perform strongly under its new owner, securing long-term jobs and continuing its contribution to the State of Queensland,” says Jacques. Italy Cobalt high in demand In the new cobalt rush, Alta Zinc, which holds a number of zinc projects in northern Italy, has applied for an exploration licence (EL) over a historical cobalt production area in the Piedmont region of Italy. Several old mining sites are present in the Punta Corna mountain area, located in the central part of the EL application area. The peak of mining activity occurred during the so-called Age of Cobalt (1753–1823). According to archival records, the mines produced approximately 55t of cobalt, which was exported to Wurttemberg in Germany as dye medium (cobalt blue). The EL application covers 14.3km² and, once granted, will be valid for two years. Israel Shefa bulk tests gems Israeli company Shefa Yamim has received results from the 10th, 11th, and 12th samples of the 14 bulk samples taken during an exploration campaign to determine a resource estimate for gem and other heavy minerals in Zone 1 of the Kishon Mid- Reach project in Israel. A total of 744.8 carats (ct) of heavy minerals were recovered from 1485t of basal gravels with an overall heavy mineral grade of 50.1ct per one hundred tonnes (cpht). The largest stones recovered were a 5.52ct sapphire and a 4.86ct Carmel sapphire. The variety of gemstones recovered is consistent with previous bulk sample results, making Shefa Yamim a multi-commodity company. The company has now processed some 6 010t from a total of 6 386t of bulk sample material sampled by Shefa Yamim. The Carmel sapphire is the dominant gem mineral in most of the Zone 1 bulk samples to date; the southernmost bulk samples of BS-1226 and BS-1227 have returned higher sapphire values than the Carmel sapphire. In BS-1227, the recovery of 55.3ct of sapphire was the highest for a single bulk sample to date, while the individual sapphire recovered, weighing 5.52ct, was close to the largest ever discovered by Shefa Yamim, which was 5.72ct. The concentration of minerals in these samples confirms the nugget effect in heavy mineral concentration expected in this alluvial deposit. The variation in overall grades is also in line with what might be expected for a placer with semi- mobile trap sites. Chile Wealth into lithium Wealth Minerals, a company whose main focus is the acquisition of lithium projects in South America, has entered into an agreement with the fully state-owned National Mining Company of Chile (ENAMI). According to the agreement, the parties will form a strategic alliance to develop and commercialise the company’s projects in the Salar de Atacama and Laguna Verde. The agreement provides that the parties will have 24 months during which to study and assess the aforementioned properties and to form a partnership for the exploration, development, and mining thereof and for the marketing of the products from the projects. The agreement contemplates that the JV will take the form of an incorporated joint venture company in which ENAMI will own 10% and have a 10% free-carried interest, while Wealth will own the remaining 90% of the JV. The agreement provides that the parties will have 24 months to enter into a definitive agreement that will govern the formation and operation of the JV. “Not only are we now able to draw upon ENAMI’s experience and knowledge for successfully mining and processing resources in Chile, we have gained a strong state partner that can help fulfill our goals of full-scale development to achieve production of lithium and by-pr oducts in Chile. This will enable Wealth and ENAMI to meet the world’s growing demand for lithium and secure Chile’s position as a premier player in global lithium markets,” says Hendrik van Alphen, CEO at Wealth Minerals. MAY 2018 MINING MIRROR [9]