Spotlight Round-up

17th December 2021


We’re wrapping up another week before we begin unwrapping gifts for the holidays! With the markets stagnant after their mid-November high - we will take this moment to catch up on the news tidbits from the last week as we sit and think about the best part of the holidays. What’s the best part of the holidays? No matter what you like the best, the cheers, the songs, the lights, or the snow, everyone is really just waiting for one thing. It’s mouthwatering. It’s endless. It’s gluttonous. It’s the family feast! Whatever holiday you might celebrate or what ever culture you are from - we all love the food that grandma makes and seeing the family all together around a table full of food.

1. A pre-Christmas feast in the Alps with a bunch of rowdy geologists (this author included, far left)! As usual, everyone was excited to chow down!

Even as we gear up and loosen our belts for the final feast - there is still top tier mining news coming your way from the international junior mining sector. Gold prices are steady, with a slight uptick on Thursday night to right around $1,800 USD/oz, with little to no changes from last week, and silver is seeming to stabilize a bit above $22 USD/oz ( The slight up-tick going into the holidays is great, but let’s dig into the rest of the cornucopia of news from the world of mining for the holiday feast!

Roasted Christmas Ham

Everyone loves a good ham, and it is always the staple of the table. The big pink anchor that keeps people coming back for more, whether it’s honey-glazed or hickory-smoked. Well the ham is certainly on the table this year for Pan American Silver (TSX: PAAS; NASDAQ: PAAS), who recently received the green light on their Navidad project (fitting, huh?). Navidad, located in the Chubut Province of Argentina, is one of the largest underdeveloped silver projects in the world, with 155 Mt of measured and indicated ore at 150 g/t AgEq. The currently operations plan calls for a 17-year life of mine, and the project is valued at nearly $800 M (USD). The company has been wating nearly 19 years for this permitting, so finally we can wish the Pan America Silver group ¡Feliz Navidad!

2. Overview of the Navidad project with tasty silver grades and enticing resources - the project is finally approved!

The stuffing

Okay, so stuffing goes with birds, not with ham - but you get the point. The thing with stuffing is that it never looks appetizing. It’s some brown mash of bread, meat, and baked vegetables. Every year, however, we scoop it onto our plates in the anticipation that it will be good - and 9 times out of 10 it’s phenomenal!

Predicting metal markets can often be like stuffing - you see a lump, but how will it turn out? Chinese researchers at Antaike have made the speculation for an increase in lead prices in 2022. Why’s that? Well simply put, the demand for more electric vehicles has seen a 400% increase in the price for battery grade lithium in China. Zhang Zhiwei, analyst for Antaike, believes that lead, and cheaper lead-battery vehicles, will make a comeback in 2022. However, in the Chinese market and others, lead is one of the worst performing base metals - with a 95,000 tonne surplus expected in 2022. Regardless, base metal traders and producers will maintain a close watch on the shifts in demand when it comes to vehicle production and demand for cheaper battery alternatives.

3. Year to Date Lithium (pink) versus Lead (blue) prices per metric ton. Lead remains cheaper by an order of magnitude and isn't seeing the same steady drive upward in the lithium market.

That pink dessert from your strange aunt

You know what I’m talking about. In your family, it might be green, not pink. It’s marshmallow, or custard, or something. It’s got nuts or dried fruit….and possibly a bit of cat hair. Your aunt swears it’s good, but you know that it’s in your best interest to disappear when it gets passed around the table. You may have never tasted it, but you are sure that it is disgusting.

4. I do not know what this stuff is, and I do not care to find out. Even exploration geologists have their limits. (photo from Apologies to the chef).

Which, incidentally, is how we at Spotlight Mining feel about dishonest mining executives. Benny Steinmetz of Israel was arrested in Greece on November 24th after being sentenced to 5 years in prison by a Swiss court. He was convicted of paying $8.5 M to an official in Guinea in order to acquire mining concessions for the Simandou iron mine. At nearly 70% Fe, the Simandou concession projects to be the 5th largest iron ore producer in the world, when operating at full bore. Steinmetz was released after two days in the detention, but is currently unable to leave Greece. At least the relative who brings the weird pink stuff will eventually leave your house, eh?

Mashed Potatoes

Yep, everyone likes these. These are the bread and butter (also very good!) of any good winter feast. Catch a mix and mash of some of the latest Junior Mining news bits below.

Kodiak Copper (TSXV:KDK)  has new results from their MDP porphyry project in British Columbia, with 126m of 0.87% CuEq. Get the complete highlights and map data from their news release here.

Tocvan Ventures Corp (CSE:TOC, FRA:TV3) began to drill its Pilar Gold-Silver project in Sonora Mexico this year, and the first results are coming back in, with up to 8,000 m planned through July 2022. Keep an eye on this project, which has already shown some tasty grade intervals!

5. Exploration plan for Tocvan Ventures 2021-2022 drilling campaign.

New Pacific Metals Corp (NYSE:NEWP, TSX:NUAG) have announced a new Chairman for their board, just two weeks after a fantastic silver discovery at the Carangas Silver Project in Bolivia.

Las Bambas, a copper mine operated by MMG Ltd, will suspend operations on the 18th of December due to a activist blockade. The recent turn of events has prompted Peruvian PM to suggest a state of emergency declaration might be used to resolve the disagreement. Las Bambas accounts for approximately 2% of the world’s copper supply.

Ascot Resources Ltd (TSX: AOT) was recently granted permission to begin operations at the Premier Mine. On the heels of this news is a promising News Release on exploration from the Premier project highlighted by a 7m interval with over 36 g/t gold.

Mountain Boy Minerals (TSXV:MTB, OTCQB:MBYMF) confirmed their porphyry discovery at the Telegraph Project in British Columbia. Soil sampling and rock grabs yield up to 17.9 % Cu highlighting several new target areas on the property!

6. Mountain Boy Minerals Soil and Rock sampling map from 2021 exploration results. Pink crosses indicate grab samples with more than 1 wt. % copper and have indicated a notable south-easterly mineralization trend near the DOK project (left side) as well as the new Yeti West target (top right).

The pudding

Whatever your favorite dessert is, whether it’s pie, crumble, or cheesecake, we all stick around for the delicious pudding waiting at the end of the meal. We’ve gorged ourselves already at this point, so what harm is a little bit more?

But what happens when someone helps themselves to a bit more than they should? Well there isn’t enough left for the rest of us! That’s exactly (apparently) what happened in the DRC, as a recent report shows. The Central Bank of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is missing some money. Accounting results show $530 Million (USD) missing from its register - which the state-run mining company claims it has already paid to the government.

7. Congolese geologists in the field. Geologists and the exploration community are always on the butt-end of corruption and fraud. It’s even worse for the citizens and community members who would benefit from government funding and infrastructure to their region. Photo courtesy of Yann Mpaka Waku from INEX - RDC.

The problem when someone takes extra pudding is that everyone else suffers. Resource Matters, a Belgium-based anti-corruption group, says that these missing payments will be one of the largest misappropriations of funds ever documents in the Congo. That results in local community members, who play an active role in mining operations and supporting the industry on the ground, suffer. It is important for third-party groups to keep an eye on these type of corruption measures, as well as to have community groups that link different stake holders together. INEX - RDC, a Congolese research exchange based in Kinshasa, are one organization that hopes to bridge the gap between industry, academic, and community exchanges through their initiative - making sure that everyone is a part of the exploration of the Congo and that no one is being exploited by greedy

In the Spotlight

Keep up to date on the goings-on in mining by reading Spotlight’s publications!

The best part of a big holiday feast is the food coma and long winter nap. While Jane is away, I’m more than happy to take care of the weekly Round-Up and bring you the top-tier news you expect from Spotlight Mining. And after that? Well after that, you can find me drooling as I doze off on the couch after this big meal.

Happy Holidays from Spotlight Mining!

Aaron Hantsche

View posts by Aaron Hantsche
Aaron Hantsche recently obtained his PhD in Geology from the University of Geneva in Switzerland, where he studied distal Pb-Zn skarn deposits in southern Bulgaria. Magmatic-hydrothermal deposits are his primary focus, with a bent towards geochemical vectoring tools and field geology. In addition to his work as a geologist, Aaron is a director for the science communication platform, Ore Deposits Hub. His passion for mineral deposits and geo-communication led him to join the Spotlight Mining writing team in October 2021.