CANADIAN STOCK EXCHANGES
E. A. Schiller
Let’s hope the summer heat brings forth some hot assays
Summer heat has been prevalent all over Canada providing lots of good weather and working conditions for field exploration parties from sea to sea and to the far reaches of our Arctic tundra. We all look forward to good news to move our markets upwards. I recently read two good books that give great insights into two commodities that our Canadian explorers are chasing across our sun drenched lands. Tom Zoellner, a journalist with the San Francisco Chronicle has put together comprehensive accounts of diamonds and uranium that provide a lot of background information on these two well sought after commodities. The ”Heartless Stone”, A journey through the world of diamonds, deceit and desire reviews the history of diamond activities through exploitation from early discovery in India, Brazil, and South Africa to more recent discoveries in Russia, Australia, Angola and Canada. He over kills, with obvious justification, the exploitation of young workers in the cutting centers of India and the blood diamond youth miners in Angola and other African countries. His Canadian reporting is restricted to Victoria Island and gives little coverage to our important diamond mining and exploration centers. Geological editing was marginal with lithological terms misused but not to a distracting level. The chapter on Alchemy is written in a convincing tone and describes how Russian technology on synthetic diamond creation is in full swing world wide and ready to replace natural diamond consumption. To the buying public the bottom line is, does one buy a synthetic or cultured diamond or the real McCoy.
Book number two, “Uranium”, War, energy and the rock that shaped the world, is a well researched piece of work that does an outstanding job on the history of uranium activities from birth to today’s nuclear events. His travels from Shinkolobwe in the Kaganga region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to St. Joachimsthal in the Bohemia region of the Czech Republic provided some interesting reading on how uranium was first discovered thanks to previously discovered copper deposits in the Congo and silver deposits previously discovered in the Czech Republic. Uranium from Shinkolobwe was used to create the Hiroshima bomb and uranium from St. Joachimsthal fed many nuclear reactors in the US and elsewhere. The term dollar was derived from the word Joachimsthal where coins were minted and then referred to thalers which became the bastarized dollar in English-speaking regions.
On the home front Peregrine Diamonds Ltd (PGD-TSX-V) reported the discovery of eight new kimberlites at the Chidliak project on the southeast of Baffin Island, Nunavut. Six were found by surface prospecting and two were discovered by drilling of geophysical targets. This brings the total number of discovered kimberlies to date to 26. Mini-bulk samples of approximately 13 and 50 tonnes of kimberlite from two kimberlites (CH -20 and CH- 22 respectively) were collected and sent for diamond extraction. Two drills are currently operating and a third to be added shortly. The stock trades in the $1.75 cent range down from over two dollars in previous days.
Dormant but not dead saw the former producing Jericho diamond mine about to be put in production by Shear Minerals Ltd (SRM-TSX-V). Shear has entered into a purchase and sales agreement with Tahera Diamond Corp and Benachee Resources Inc to acquire a 100% interest in the Jericho Mine and all supporting assets in the Lac de Gras area, north of Yellowknife. The mine produced 780,000 carats from 1.2 million tonnes of kimberlite from an open pit from 2006 to 2008. Shear issued 80,000,000 shares and will make cash payments of $2,000,000 for the acquisition. Shear has a portfolio of eight diamond projects, seven of which are drill ready in Nunavut. SRM trades in the 6 to 7 cent up from 4 to 5 cents prior to the acquisition.
In Quebec, Stornoway Diamonds Corporation (SWY-TSX-V) announced the conclusion of a Pre-Development Agreement for the Renard Diamond Project with the Grand Council of the Crees (Eeyou Istchee)/Cree Regional Authority, the Cree Nation of Misstissini and DIAQUEM INC. ( a wholly-owned subsidiary of SOQUEM, a Quebec financial holding company). The Renard Diamond Project (or Foxtrot) is located in the Otish Mountains 250 km north of Misstissini in the James Bay region of north-central Quebec. A preliminary assessment at Renard showed the project to have the potential to produce 30 million carats of diamonds over a 25 year mine life. SWY trades in the 58 to 60 cent range.
For those following uranium one looks no further than Hathor Exploration Ltd (HAT-TSX-V) and partner Terra Ventures Ltd (TAS-TSX-V) and their Roughrider project in northern Saskatchewan. Highlighting this project is the expansion of uranium resources on the Roughrider East (RRE) deposit where drilling continues to intersect mineralization. Earlier drilling here on REE intersected uranium mineralization ranging from 22.5% U3O8 over 12 m in hole 10-610 to 1.6% U3O8 over 81.5 m and recent drilling intersected 44.5 m at 0.345% U3O8 in hole 10-624B to 7.5 m of 2.54 % U3O8 in hole 10-626A. HAT trades around $1.85 up from around $1.50 last month and TAS has been relatively flat at around 30 cents. Uranium prices strengthened slightly in late July up $4.25 to $46.00 and this appears to be a sign of further increases in the coming weeks.