Weekly Nugget

Rio Tinto Delivers Maiden Resource for Jadar Lithium Project, Serbia

Rio Tinto (LSE: RIO, ASX: RIO, NYSE: RIO) is entering the lithium business with its Jadar project in Serbia.


The deposit was originally found in 2004 by Rio and is a unique source of the mineral lithium borosilicate.

Pre-feasibility studies have shown that the Jadar project has the potential to produce both battery-grade lithium carbonate and boric acid. 

The Mineral Resource comprises 55.2 million tonnes of ore at 1.68% Li2O and 17.9% B2O3 in the indicated category with an additional 84.1 million tonnes 1.84% Li2O and 12.6% B2O3 in the inferred category. 

Jadar, one of the largest greenfield lithium projects in development, would be capable of producing approximately 55 thousand tonnes of battery-grade lithium carbonate, as well as 160 thousand tonnes of boric acid and 255 thousand tonnes of sodium sulfate as by-products per annum. 

In July 2020, the project moved into feasibility study, with an investment of almost $200 million. The feasibility study is expected to be complete at the end of 2021 and, if approved, construction could take up to four years.

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Largo Resources Building its Own Vanadium Battery Supply-Chain

Largo Resources (TSX: LGO) has launched a new company, Largo Clean Energy, to provide long-duration vanadium redox flow battery systems for the renewable energy storage market.

Largo plans to supply the vanadium for the batteries from it’s 17,690-hectare Maracás Menchen mine located in the Brazilian state of Bahia. The mining operation is expected to produce between 11,750 and 12,250 tonnes of vanadium pentoxide in 2020. 

From its operations, Largo produces standard grade vanadium pentoxide, high purity vanadium pentoxide and high purity vanadium powder.

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Ascot Secures $105 Million for Premier Gold Mine Construction, Golden Triangle, B.C.

Ascot Resources (TSX-V: AOT) has closed a USUS$105-million financing with Sprott Private Resource Lending and Beedie Investments to develop the company’s Premier Gold Project.

The Premier Gold Project is located 25 kilometres from the town of Stewart, British Columbia and Hyder, Alaska in the prolific Golden Triangle. The Premier Gold Project comprises a land position of 8,133 hectares with three key deposits and a number of exploration targets.  

The three key deposits that make up the project are Premier, Silver Coin and Big Missouri, which all had historical mining activities and underground access. The company published a mineral resource of the Premier Gold Project in 2020, a project hosting 4,141,000 tonnes at 8.25 g/t AuEq for a total of 1,066,000 ounces of gold and 4,699,000 ounces of silver.

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Lundin Gold Expanding Gold Production at Fruta Del Norte, Ecuador

Lundin Gold (TSX: LUG) has secured the financing to expand operations at its Fruta del Norte gold-silver mine in Ecuador, the country’s largest. The company went into production last year with a planned throughput of 3,500 tonnes per day and hopes this expansion will reach 4,200 tonnes per day. 

The Vancouver-based miner said the expansion would cost $18.6 million and would be funded by cash flow from operations

Lundin Gold, worth almost C$2.8 billion, developed the asset for almost two years, following a 2016 agreement with Ecuador’s government, escaping the notorious windfall tax. That deal allowed it to move ahead with the project, located in the southeastern Amazon province of Zamora Chinchipe.

Lundin has set its 2021 production guidance between 380,000 and 420,000 ounces of gold with an average head grade of 10.4g/t, a recovery rate of 90% and all-in sustaining costs of $770 to $830 per ounce.

The company also increased Fruta del Norte’s reserves by 8% to 5.41 million ounces, thanks to changes in the planned mining method.

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