Managing Director’s Statement and Review of Operations
Canada Resources Plc’s mission is to locate investment opportunities in many different economic niches for long term wealth accumulation. Canada Resources plc now has interests in rare metals (niobium) as well as gold prospects in Ireland and Canada. Canada Resources Plc (‘Canada resources’ or the ‘Company’) is pleased to announce that it has completed its geological report on the Blue Stack properties in NW Ireland and hopes to execute a magnetometer survey on the properties during the summer of 2016. A magnetometer survey reveals magnetic anomalies which would help identify areas for further exploration and eventually, drilling targets. Our senior geologist and director Fred Sharpley, along with our junior geologist, Lucas Currah, have developed an updated a map compilation of the gold anomalies in Canada Resource’s ground on our four Blue Stack mineral properties:
Analysis of BlueStacks Mountain Claim
The company has monitored and is pleased with the progress in the current mineral development schedule of the Nemegosenda property in Canada. The Company holds a 1.5% NSR (Net Smelter Royalty) Niobium option interest in Nemegosenda. Please see Appendix I and II for Niobium information.
During the past 12 months the Company has invested in two proprietary environmental remediation projects, with the intention of creating short to midterm cash-flow, while diversifying investment during the ongoing commodity price lows.
Canada Resources has invested in two environmental projects by obtaining interests in two Canadian proprietary environmental firms. Firstly, the Company has purchased a fifteen percent (15%) equity interest in 2218094 Ontario Ltd. which will utilize a chemical proprietary catalyst technology and process to remediate disused railway ties by removing and disposing of the toxic creosote that coat them. Once the railway ties are processed and the toxins are removed, they may be recycled as wood pellets. These wood pellets would be delivered and sold to European energy companies which are publicly subsidized to buy renewable energy inputs.
There are tens of millions of railway ties that the Canadian Federal government requires to be remediated. The large Canadian railways have agreed to deliver their obsolete ties and pay to the company $1 per tie as they are heavily fined for not remediating on a monthly basis. This process is envisioned to be profitable; testing on the ties is required to determine that enough of the creosote is removed so that the processed wood pellets meet European energy companies’ criteria for renewable energy inputs. Testing is scheduled to commence in the summer of 2016 and the Company, while we are in close communication with Drax Power, UK and other European energy companies.
The second proprietary environmental concern is the TSAR Project (Tar Sands Advanced Reclamation) where the Company has obtained a ten per cent (10%) equity interest. TSAR Project employs the same chemical proprietary catalyst technology to remove legacy oil from the tar sands tailings in Western Canada, primarily in the Canadian province of Alberta. The Company additionally retains the Option of purchasing another forty per cent (40%) of the TSAR project for Eight Million ($8,000,000) Canadian dollars.
The TSAR Project investment is a timely response to the negative impact ‘heavy oil tailings’ pollution has had on Canada’s international political image. The recently elected federal Liberal government are mandating carbon laws, in order that legacy oil companies will be required to remediate the oil sands from their mining activities. Currently, these companies are paying millions of dollars in fines to the federal government as the government is failing to remediate toxic tailings. The Athabasca tar sands in North-East Alberta compose over 56,000 square miles. The remediation demand from this area is considerable.
The Company believes the majority of the funding needed to design and build the plants which would facilitate remediation processes in each of these projects can be provided by Canadian federal government grants. These processes are being solicited from the TSAR Project by the Canadian Federal government.
Canada Resources plc will continue exploring the possibility of taking Canada Resources public on the junior Irish exchange sometime in 2016 / 2017, at an opportune time. In anticipation of this and through the current commodities market lows, management has concentrated efforts on associated areas of development, in order to drive short to midterm prospects of cash-flow.
There are two particular and immediate areas of concentration, each revolving around the application of rapidly evolving technologies. Management perceive each as related to the core mining focus. As described in the ‘New projects’ section above, the primary focus is in environmental remediation. In summary, Canada Resources has significant stakes in two ventures, each of which seeks to remediate oil pollutants. The first is an effort to remove creosote from millions of rail sleepers in Canada, through employment of a bespoke and newly created solvent technology. The second is an effort to work with federal authorities on cleaning contaminated land associated with the highly polluting oil sands industry.
Appendix I -Niobium Fact Sheet
Introduction and History
Niobium was officially named after Niobe, the daughter of Tantalus in 1950. It was separated by two different chemists independently: Charles Hatchett, who named the metal columbium as a synonym for the United States; and, Heirich Rose, who separated it from tantalum and named it niobium in the late 1800s. Niobium's first commercial use began in 1925, as it began to replace tungsten in steel-tool use. However, more widespread adoption began to occur in the 1950s during the space race due to the increased demand in higher quality steel for engineering projects (Figure 1). Niobium is classified as a strategic metal, meaning that reliability of future supplies is a concern for nations.
Uses and Applications
Niobium has a wide range of uses in several different sectors, although majority of its use is as an alloying component for steel for manufacturing and construction applications (Table 1).
Table 1. A summary of the uses of niobium.
|Automotive||Vehicle bodies||HSLA ferro-niobium (60% Nb)|
|Ceramics and Surface coating||Ceramic capacitors, glass coating and camera lenses||Niobium oxide|
|Chemicals||Chemical processing equipment and oil and gas pipelines||
HSLA ferro-niobium (60% Nb), niobium
|Construction||Architectural steels and cathode protection systems for large steel structures||HSLA ferro-niobium (60% Nb), niobium metal|
|Engineering||Cutting tools, railway tracks and ship hulls||Niobium carbide|
|Electronics||Capacitors, street lighting systems and touchscreen technology||Niobium powder, niobium oxide and lithium niobate|
|Medicine||Superacondutine magnetic coils in MRI scanners and magnetoencephalography||Niobium alloy, niobium-tin alloy and niobium nitride|
|Metallurgical||Superalloys for jet engines and turbine blades||Vacuum-grade ferro-niobium and vacuum-grade nickel-niobium|
|Physics||Particle physics research||Noibium-titanium alloy and niobium-tin alloy|
Markets and Prices
Niobium production has rapidly increasd since 1997, with production increasing up to 100,000 t of Nb metal in 2009 from 20,000 t. Brazil dominates the markets for all niobium products, with production being controlled by CBMM, followed by deposits in Canada with production occuring from IAMGOLD's Niobec mine in Quebec, Canada. Niobium is traded by private contract, and it is imported/ exported in the United States under the same code as tantalum, vanadium, and rhenium.
Therefore, the determination of prices is very difficult. However, prices have increased steadily reaching prices up to $ 30 US per kg of ferroniobium. Longer-term outlooks support this price of niobium into the future. Current prices in year-end 2013 reached levels between $35 - 40 US for ferroniobium. Additionally, the adoption of niobium as a weight percent of steel as been increasing as the demand for higher grade steel alloys increases. Currently, China, Russia, and India use much less weight percent of niobium in their steel manufacturing which suggests that more niobium consumption is possible independent of the rate of growth in steel production (Figure 2).
Sources and Reserves
Niobium is commonly recovered as a by-product in tantalum or tin/ tantalum LCT-pegmatite deposits. Primary niobium deposits are more commonly carbonatite intrusive complexes, where niobium pentoxide is enriched in the mineral pyrochlore. These deposits occur worldwide, with reserves occurring in Australia, Africa, and Greenland. However, majority of the world's reserves occur in Brazil, followed by Canada (Table 2). It should be noted however, that reporting of reserves and production data from both Russia and China are not publically disseminated.
Table 2. Significant worldwide reserves of niobium, excluding Russia and China
|Source||Proven and Probable Reserves (Mt)||Contained Nb205 (Mt)||Inferred Resources (Mt)||Contained Nb205 (kt)|
Many current development projects looking to develop both rare earths and niobium report niobium as a recoverable product in resource estimations. Quest Rare Metals and Avalon Rare Metals both have considerable REE resources that plan to recover Nb as a by-product, while other projects are solely based on niobium (Table 3).
Table 3. A summary of properties being developed with the potential t recover niobium.
|Location||Property||Company||Mt Ore||Nb t ('000's)||Nb205%||Status|
|Canada||Oka Complex||Niocan Inc.||12||61||0.63||Feasibilty|
|Australia||Mt. Weld||Lynas Corp.||38||282||1.07||Pre-Feasibility|
|Canada||Thor Lake||Avalon Rare Metals||375||577||0.22||Pre-Feasibility|
|Canada||Blue River||Commerce Resources||29||22||0.11||Pre-Feasibility|
|Canada||Strange Lake||Quest Rare Minerals||43||108||0.25||Drilling|
|Canada||Nemegosenda Lake||Sarissa Resources||45||136||0.43||Drilling|
APPENDIX II - NIOBIUM 101
What is Niobium?
Niobium (Nb) is a soft, rare, transition metal used in the production of high grade steel. It is an alloying agent, which when added to another material creates a material with substantial benefits. Steel containing niobium has many attractive properties making it highly desirable for use in the automotive, gas pipeline and construction industries. Steel made with niobium is stronger, lighter in weight and corrosion resistant.
The use of niobium dates back to 1925 when it was used to replace tungsten in tool steel production. By the 1930s, niobium was being used to prevent corrosion in stainless steels. With the primary production of niobium, it became a key element in the development of modern engineering materials and its usage has steadily increased with further advances in the metallurgical field.
WHAT ARE THE KEY PROPERTIES OF NIOBIUM?
Niobium in the form of standard grade ferroniobium, which represents over 90% of niobium production, is a member of the group of Vanadium transition elements. It is characterized by high melting and boiling points. Despite presenting a high melting point in elemental form (2,468 °C), it has a low density in comparison to other refractory metals. Furthermore, it is corrosion resistant and exhibits superconductivity properties. Niobium chemical properties are very similar to those of Tantalum.
WHERE IS NIOBIUM FOUND?
Niobium is found primarily in Brazil and Canada, which account for about 99% of total reported niobium production, and in Australia. The United States Geological Survey estimates world reserves at 2.7 mm MT of contained niobium. Niobium occurs in the minerals pyrochlore and columbite, which contain niobium and tantalum in varying proportions. The mineral pyrochlore is mined primarily for its niobium content. Columbite is mined primarily for tantalum with niobium extracted as a bproduct. Roskill estimates that approximately 97% of niobium is found in the mineral pyrochlore.
HOW IS NIOBIUM MINED?
Pyrochlore ores are mined using two main types of mining methods, either in isolation or as a combination: Open-pit is the prevalent method in Brazil while underground mining is used at the Niobec mine in Canada. However, based on the results of the prefeasibility study, IAMGOLD will be proceeding with the block-caving model for future expansion.
HOW IS NIOBIUM PROCESSED?
After the ore is mined it is finely ground and beneficiated (separation process) by flotation and high-intensity magnetic separation to remove iron minerals. In Canada, nitric acid can be used to remove apatite, and in Brazil a chloride leach process is used to reduce the barium, phosphorus and sulphur content. The end result of this physical processing is a pyrochlore concentrate grading 55-60% Nb2O5. Most pyrochlore concentrates, however, are converted into a standard-grade ferroniobium for use in applications where the retained impurities can be tolerated. For applications requiring higher purity levels, further processing is required to yield purity levels of ~99% such as the levels found in niobium oxides and vacuum-grade ferroniobium.