The United States’ economy, industry, and national security remain exposed to a projected copper squeeze in the near future. US policymakers are faced with an almost-guaranteed shortfall in terms of the amount of red metal required to meet green transition goals and societal trends like expanding urbanization. What’s more, current geopolitical turbulence and emerging trade conflicts underscore the importance of mitigating the effects of this shortage on the US economy. Failing to do so would have drastic impacts in terms of meeting domestic demand, causing financial volatility, and creating opportunities to leverage copper supplies for geopolitical blackmail. With annual copper consumption expected to rise by 53% by 2040, BloombergNEF expects a 14M-tonne shortfall by then, meaning exploration companies like Gama Explorations (CSE:GAMA) and Golden Minerals Company (TSX:AUMN) (NYSE-A:AUMN) and producers like BHP Group (NYSE:BHP), Turquoise Hill Resources (TSX:TRQ) (NYSE:TRQ), and Vale (NYSE:VALE) will need to increase their efforts to help combat the supply squeeze.
Gama Explorations Inc (CSE:GAMA) is a mineral exploration firm that focuses on purchasing, exploring, and developing copper and nickel mineral projects. On October 12, Gama Explorations introduced the Tyee Nickel Project in Quebec, which was acquired with the conclusion of the Tyee transaction on September 20. The Company believes that the global shift toward net zero will put a strain on the supply for metals that include copper and nickel.
The Tyee Project is in the Havre St. Pierre (“HSP”) Anorthosite Complex, a recently recognized nickel belt in Quebec. Recent drilling in the complex, 12 kilometres west of the Tyee project, found “wide intervals of nickel and copper sulphides.”
Today, Gama Explorations announced that it had expanded its land position in the HSP Anorthosite Complex by 481% through staking. Since the acquisition of the Tyee project, the company has a total land position of 473.14km2 in this area.
Gama is now one of the largest mineral claim owners within its portion of the HSP Anorthosite Complex with a district-scale land package that lies about 12 kilometers north of Hydro Quebec’s Romaine IV hydropower facility that is road accessible.
The company intends to conduct aerial geophysical surveys, followed by ground geophysics and prospecting, to generate drill targets.
“We at GAMA are very excited to advance the Tyee Nickel Project, which we believe to be a very prospective region for massive nickel sulphide and other deposit types,” said Mick Carew, CEO of Gama. “We look forward to delineating and executing a disciplined, efficient exploration program, and will continue to update investors as the story unfolds. With GAMA’s strong technical team at the helm, we believe Tyee represents an exciting opportunity to unlock value which to date remains significantly under-explored.”
Gama Explorations bolstered its leadership team on October 4 with the announcement of Mick Carew as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), who was previously a Gama director.
For over 25 years, Carew has been involved in the mining industry, combining financial markets experience and technical expertise. He has worked as a geologist for major and minor mining/exploration companies, including BHP and Ivanhoe Mines, and gained regional and near-mine mineral exploration experience working on a variety of uranium, base and precious metal ore deposits in Australia, Canada and Asia. As a research analyst at Haywood Securities, Carew utilized his technical expertise to evaluate projects and companies ranging from early and advanced-stage exploration, resource and development to production.
Two weeks later, Gama announced the appointment of Dr. Jacob (Jaap) Verbaas as Vice President of Exploration. Dr. Verbaas is a registered professional exploration geologist with experience in Australia, northern Africa and Canada. His strengths are regional targeting as well as identifying and executing project-scale exploration strategies. He has worked in executive roles for Canadian public exploration companies since 2017, including as Vice President of Exploration with Go Metals. Verbaas is also a founder, director and CEO of CAVU Energy Metals.
Mining Companies Are Progressing on Operations
BHP Group (NYSE:BHP) and Colorado School of Mines and BHP announced on August 30 a new partnership to assist the Mines Global Energy Future Initiative. The Global Energy Future Initiative (GEFI) is a science and engineering framework for collaboration and ideation centred on developing a safe, resilient, and sustainable energy future for the entire world. As a founding partner, BHP joins the project to create innovative sustainable energy solutions. The Company will support research projects and participate in steering committees and working groups as part of this collaboration, bringing industrial expertise to bear on challenging problems. BHP will gain access to cutting-edge research crucial to developing a sustainable future for the mining industry in exchange for its skills. Through this collaboration, BHP and GEFI hope to create renewable, secure, robust, and adaptable energy systems and infrastructure, promoting global economic development while lowering environmental impacts.
On October 4, Turquoise Hill Resources (TSX:TRQ) (NYSE:TRQ) announced that the Management Proxy Circular, as well as the related Form of Proxy and Letter of Transmittal, had been mailed to Turquoise Hill shareholders in connection with the agreement, which included, among other things, the satisfaction or waiver of all applicable conditions precedent. The Board (excluding conflicting directors) unanimously concluded that the Arrangement was in the best interests of the Company and fair to the holders of Minority Shares. It recommends that Minority Shareholders vote in favour of the Arrangement resolution at the designated meeting. This decision was made based on the unanimous recommendation of a special committee of the Company’s Board of Directors comprised entirely of independent directors.
Vale (NYSE:VALE) began work this summer on the Zhongzhai Pre-blending Project in collaboration with Jiangsu Shagang Group Co., Ltd. and Ningbo Zhoushan Port Company Limited. The Ningbo Zhoushan Port-built project is set to begin operations in the second semester of 2023. The purpose is to build silo-blending facilities with a capacity of 15 Mtpy at the Zhongzhai Ore Terminal in Zhejiang Province, China. After the project is completed, blended ores will be supplied exclusively to Shagang. Vale will be responsible for delivering a percentage of the blended cargoes with high-quality products like BRBF and providing technical help in blending activities. The Zhongzhai Ore Terminal has a 300,000-ton unloading bay that can accommodate Guaibamax ships. The novel pre-mixing service entails the utilization of silos at the port for the simultaneous blending of various iron ore products, a procedure generally performed in steel mills before the sintering stage.
Golden Minerals Company (TSX:AUMN) (NYSE-A:AUMN) provided an update on ongoing work at several of its Mexican gold-silver mining properties in September. The Company announced the assay results of holes 10 through 24 from its third drill program at the Yoquivo gold-silver project in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. The 2022 program began in May 2022 and has so far resulted in the drilling of 24 holes totaling 5,693 metres. Drilling was planned to follow up on high-grade intercepts recorded in previous drill campaigns and explore the Pertenencia vein system with enough drill density to allow for a maiden resource estimate in Q1 2023.
Gama Explorations currently has the option to acquire a 100% interest in the Big Onion Project in northern British Columbia, roughly a 20-minute drive from the town of Smithers. The Company’s purpose is to investigate and, if necessary, develop the Big Onion Property.
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