Carl Icahn dives into Freeport McMoRan, picking up 8.5%. [Zerohedge] This after FCX announces a 33% reduction in capex, a 50% reduction in exploration and a 20% reduction in production for next year. ZH thinks this might be the end of FCX once shareholder value is extracted by leveraging the company to its eyeballs and paying out the proceeds. All in all, a pretty clear sign of a market bottom when Wall Street closes in for some last minute scavenging.
Also of interest from Zerohedge – CITI Group’s analysis of commodity performance this year. [Zerohedge] The chart below says it all…. Gold’s your bet.
First we send in the lawyers: Time to check in with the “space miners”. [Mining Weekly] Commodity prices might be crashing to earth but the space miners forge ahead. In the vanguard are the “space lawyers”. To “establish their claim”, one outfit issues NASA a $20 ticket for crashing a probe into their prize asteroid; it get’s thrown out of court. Then Congress, with nothing else on its agenda, passes the SPACE Act this year. Trouble for the space lawyers is that it only covers the recovered ore and not the “resource”. They’re fretting about claim jumpers but with a law to play with, you can be sure they will get the courts to sort this out.
While the lawyers get ahead and set up shop, the “space miners” are making progress too. Planetary Resources plans to launch their next probe in December (launch in space-speak means getting it tossed out of the ISS airlock). There’s a new world ahead folks and they are already thinking about what it will mean:
Planetary plans to remotely control its robotic-prospecting technology from the comfort of earth-bound offices. In time, the company hopes to be able to provide reports on asteroid targets similar to that of the Canadian National Instrument 43-101 on earth. [Property visit required?]
In later phases of space exploration, construction materials, such as iron, nickel and cobalt, which are plentiful in near-earth asteroids, could provide the keys to building space structures. These can be built using new manufacturing techniques exploiting 3D printing that not only uses local space materials, but can also make the structures more appropriate for their environment, because one does not need to fold them up and send them to space on a rocket ride, Lewicki says.
Think this is pie in the sky? Guess again:
The company’s robotic equipment would make trips to the asteroid targets that could span from a few weeks to more than eight months. “It’s more like planning a bus schedule. It’s about knowing when to leave and when to arrive at them. There are thousands of near-earth asteroids,” he says. “It is rocket science, but it’s a well-known science. We’re actually making money today and will make money at every step along the way as we build the capability to prospect and mine asteroids,” he concludes.
I’m sure they’ll be making money at this without a pound of product hitting Earth.
Part 5 of Andrew Nelson’s trip through the Yukon. [CEO.ca] The investment eye view of Kaminak Gold’s Coffee Project. If nothing else, this YTG-backed junket did a lot of good raising Yukon’s profile.
Rah Rah Lac de Gras. [Resource clips] Zimtu pump piece on Zimtu companies (& others) at work in the NWT. Timely in view of their announced field program.
Nice results from Ascot Resources program at the Premier Mine near Stewart. [Marketwired] While the “1009.5 g/t Au over 0.9 m” intersection was the headline there were some broader, lower grade but nonetheless quite economic intersections as well. Rob McLeod worked there and provides some background. [Stockhouse]
Ascot Resources is the real deal. Historically at Premier, the mine was highly profitable for multiple decades mining the spectacular grades of the recent drilling. Structurally, the ultra-high-grade have seemed complex in the modern era, but I believe their geo team has it sorted out. I used to work in the mill at Premier when I was an undergrad, and they had these historic stacks of ‘curved level plans’; never seen anything like it since. High grade veins at Pretium could do something similar. Start flat, then curve vertical like a fishhook.
Stockwatch’s Will Purcell on the Kelvin bulk sample results:
Patrick Evans’s Kennady Diamonds Inc. (KDI) gained six cents to $3.62 on 188,000 shares. Kennady, just $3 earlier this week, jumped 39 cents Wednesday after Mr. Evans applied his usually effective spin to the company’s mini-bulk test results at Kelvin, 10 kilometres northeast of Gahcho Kue in the Northwest Territories. The 442.5 tonnes of dry kimberlite produced 892.86 carats of diamonds larger than a 0.85-millimetre mesh. Including diamonds smaller than a 1.18-millimetre sieve probably added roughly 50 carats, enough to allow Kennady to reach the promotionally important two-carat-per-tonne hurdle with a grade of 2.02 carats per tonne.
Mr. Evans said he and his crew were “particularly pleased” with the test as it had been collected from the more diluted southeastern lobe of the Kelvin kimberlite. The company averaged just 1.79 carats per tonne at the southeastern lobe last year in a 25-tonne sample, while a 19-tonne test in the northern lobe averaged 2.59 carats per tonne. He must have scaled back his expectations while the latest test was under way; after drilling wrapped up in April he said he expected to recover “approximately 1,000 carats” from the sample. (Approximate has a generous range on Howe Street, but Mr. Evans, a former South African diplomat and Kennady’s founding CEO, has long been careful to promise small and deliver large.)
Investors were in a forgiving mood nevertheless, in part because the grade hit the lower end of the company’s grade projection, but also because the sample yielded some large stones. A total of 35 gems weighed at least one carat and five topped 2.5 carats; the largest being a 4.22-carat colourless gem with no inclusions. (It was a macle, not an octahedron, otherwise it might have carried the upcoming valuation all on its own.) In any case the five largest gems weighed 16.18 carats and with a typical distribution pattern the 35 largest stones would weigh about 60 carats, suggesting a distribution pattern at Kelvin that is at least as coarse as those in the economic Gahcho Kue pipes. That would augur well for Kelvin, as the colour and geometry of the other large diamonds appeared equally pleasing. As a result, Mr. Evans says Kennady is set to start preparations for a bulk test of the northern lobe next year.