It’s been another week of exciting drilling results, M&A moves, and production reports in the small-cap mining world.
The big M&A story was Zijin Mining’s acquisition of Canadian-listed lithium producer Neo Lithium Corp. (TSXV: NLC), which has operations in Argentina. The Chinese mining giant has agreed to an all-cash offer of C$960M to acquire 100% of shares. Waldo Perez, Neo Lithium’s president and CEO, said, “This is the result of the collective work of our premier lithium brine exploration team, starting from initial discovery in late 2015 to defining one of the largest and highest-grade lithium brine deposits in the world, and culminating in this premium offer in just six years.”
There was also exciting news from Tudor Gold Corp. (TSXV: TUD), which announced a C$7M capital raise through a brokered private placement to support the company’s ongoing exploration drilling programme in British Columbia. However, since The Assay initially published the story, the company has increased the offering to C$11.5M due to strong demand among the investor community – notably drawing participation from Eric Sprott.
There was plenty of news regarding exploration and development activity, including an announcement that Ionic Rare Earths Ltd (ASX: IXR) has completed its Phase 4 infill drill campaign ahead of schedule at the Makuutu Rare Earths Project in Uganda. Makuutu is confirmed as one of the world’s largest ionic-adsorption-clay-hosted rare-earth-element deposits. We also heard that Australian gold explorer Red 5 Ltd (ASX: RED) has kicked off its 70,000-metre open pit grade control drilling programme at the 2.4Moz, 16-year life-of-mine King of the Hills Gold Project in Western Australia.
Drilling results have been coming in thick and fast, with Benchmark Metals Inc. (TSXV: BNCH) reporting that it has obtained positive results from the Connector Zone at the Lawyers Project in British Columbia. The results, which includes 41.15m length of 1.31 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 30.77 g/t silver or 1.69 g/t gold equivalent (AuEq), have expanded the zone of mineralization by 300m along strike at the project.
Other results news last week includes Canada Nickel Company Inc.’s (TSXV: CNC) announcement that it has achieved 62% nickel recovery at its 100%-owned Crawford Nickel Sulphide Project in Ontario, and BlackEarth Minerals’ (ASX: BEM) discovery that the known graphite mineralization within the Razafy Domain at the Maniry Graphite Project in Madagascar is greater than 5km in length.
There have also been some stand-out production announcements. During Q3 2021, Victoria Gold Corp. (TSX: VGCX) raked in an impressive 55,827 ounces of gold at its Eagle Gold Mine in Canada’s Yukon Territory. We also learnt that Endeavour Silver Corp. (TSX: EDR), produced 305,399 silver ounces and 10,541 gold ounces in Q3, 2021, for silver equivalent (AgEq) production of 2.1 million oz at an 80:1 silver:gold ratio. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to subscribe to The Assay Weekly newsletter