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Castle Silver Resources Inc. (TSXV:CSR) is focused on acquiring and redeveloping past-producing properties in pro-mining jurisdictions. The company has a portfolio of high-grade silver and cobalt properties with historic production in the Greater Cobalt Camp (including the Gowganda, Silver Centre and Cobalt mining camps) of Northern Ontario, Canada.
The company’s flagship project is the wholly-owned Castle Silver Mine Property, a large land-package with a significant amount of historic silver and cobalt production. Recent drilling discovered an exceptionally high-grade silver-cobalt vein structure and channel sampling identified a new zone, the Castle Golden Corridor, with significant gold and copper mineralization. Castle Silver has recently conducted geophysical surveys on the largely underexplored property to determine high-priority targets for an upcoming 2017 drill program. In the redevelopment process, Castle is more advanced than others in the Greater Cobalt Camp
Castle Silver’s portfolio also includes the Beaver and Violet silver-cobalt projects, both past-producers in the Cobalt mining camp near the Timiskaming silver mine.
The tailings and waste rock piles at both the Castle and Beaver projects represent the potential for near-term revenue generation for Castle Silver Resources. Historic mining methods were not as efficient as today’s technologies, meaning substantial amounts of metals may remain in the waste. The company is currently conducting metallurgical testing of tailings and waste rock samples at these two projects to determine the most effective method of recovering silver, cobalt and other metals using modern technologies.
Preliminary results from first stage bench-scale metallurgical testing on both properties announced in January 2017 showed excellent silver and cobalt recoveries and concentrate grades. Further results are expected out later in 2017.
Castle Silver Resources is led by President and CEO Frank Basa who has over 28 years of global experience in mining and development as a professional hydro-metallurgical engineer with expertise in milling, gravity concentration, flotation, leaching and refining of silver, cobalt, gold and other metals.
- 100-percent ownership of 3 formerly producing properties including the Castle Silver Mine in the Gowganda mining camp and the Beaver and Violet silver-cobalt mines in the Cobalt mining camp. The company’s main goal is to resume underground mining at these properties using modern mining techniques.
- Silver and cobalt are essential metals in renewable energy technology. Cobalt is used in 3 of the 4 main types of lithium-ion electric car batteries, and silver is used in 90-percent of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells in solar panels.
- Near-term revenue generation potential in tailings and waste rock piles. Preliminary metallurgical testing returned excellent silver and cobalt recoveries and concentrate grades.
- Castle mine historical production of 9.5 million ounces silver and 300,000 pounds cobalt; grade averaged 25 oz/t silver (777 g/t Ag) from 1923-30 and 26 oz/t silver (808 g/t Ag) 1979-1989.
- Recent drill hole CA-11-08 intersected 188.8 oz/tonne silver (6,476 g/t Ag) over 3.09 meters at the Castle property.
- Channel sampling in 2014 exposed significant gold and copper mineralization and led to discovery of Castle Golden Corridor Zone.
- Geophysical and geochemical program at Castle Silver Mine property to identify drill targets for 2017 Exploration Program.
- Tight Share Structure; 15 percent held by President and CEO Frank Basa and family members.
- Share listings: TSXV:CSR, OTC:TAKRF, and FRANKFURT:4T9B
Flagship Property: Castle Silver Mine Project
The Castle Silver Mine Project includes the former silver and cobalt mine which produced 300,000 pounds of cobalt and 9.5 million ounces of silver. Historic underground ore grade averaged 25 oz/t silver (777 g/t Ag) during production years 1923 to 1930 and 26 oz/t silver (808 g/t Ag) between 1979 and 1989.
The Castle Mine’s previous owner, Agnico Eagle, ceased production in 1989 only because of low silver prices (in the range of US$6/oz). Cobalt was not a factor at the time. The veins in the Cobalt Camp are primarily cobalt veins with varying amounts of silver. Mining in the past focused on the veins with high-grade silver, while low-grade silver veins were ignored even if they had high-grade cobalt. Therefore, the area today has large amounts of cobalt and silver remaining and the opportunity for profitable mining has greatly improved with the increased demand and pricing for cobalt, as well as the significantly higher price for silver.
The 33 square-kilometer property is located in the historic Gowganda mining camp—responsible for more than 50 million ounces of high-grade silver production in the 1900s — and 85 kilometers northwest of the historic Cobalt silver mining camp in Ontario, Canada. Two geological trends have been identified on the property including a north-south trending Nipissing diabase intrusive which is the typical host rock for silver-cobalt-nickel deposits in the area; and the potential gold trend along the east-west trending Bloom Lake Fault. Infrastructure includes year-round access roads, water, diesel power and three adits.
Despite the past-production at Castle, the property remains largely under explored and is highly prospective for hosting a significant high-grade underground silver deposit. Drill hole intercepts from the 2011 winter drill program at Castle returned significant assays including drill hole CA-11-08 which intersected 188.8 oz/t silver (6,476 g/t Ag) over 3.09 meters.
Metallurgical Potential for Cobalt Products and Battery Recycling
Castle represents the best-positioned opportunity in the Cobalt Camp to help serve the increasing demand for value-added cobalt products.
Castle recently announced plans to create a suite of cobalt salts (powder) products for potential customers through a unique 100%-owned hydrometallurgical process called “Re-2OX”. Designed for high recoveries of multiple metals and elements from all feeds with varying chemistries, Re-2OX was developed by CEO Frank Basa in conjunction with the National Research Council, which is Canada’s premier scientific research organization. Castle is now carrying out advanced‐stage testing using the Re-2OX process at the SGS Lakefield, Ontario laboratory to evaluate the amenability of the process for efficient recycling of spent lithium‐ion batteries. The Re‐2OX process has taken on fresh importance in light of the increasing demand for cobalt and compelling opportunities in the battery and renewable energy sectors.
Castle Golden Corridor Zone
The newly discovered 800-meter Castle Golden Corridor zone is located about 1.7 kilometers northwest of the Castle # 3 shaft and in a geological setting similar to that of the past-producing Kirkland Lake deposit (40 million ounces of gold) located 75 kilometers to the northeast. The zone is highly prospective for a high-grade hydrothermal related gold system with copper to a depth of 300 meters.
Channel sampling work conducted in 2014 resulted in a sampling grade of 2.24 g/t gold over 2.2 meters and copper values as high as 1.03 percent.
In June 2016, the company signed a 50/50 joint venture agreement with Granada Gold Mine Inc. to advance the zone.
Upcoming drill program in 2017
The company recently completed an induced polarization (IP) survey involving a total of eight 1.8-kilometer lines over a wide area including the Golden Corridor to identify IP anomalies typical of gold and silver mineralization.
A mobile metals ion (MMI) sampling program will further delineate drill targets for an upcoming drill program later in the year.
Castle is the only company in the Cobalt Camp to have full underground access via an adit – which allows easy entry for extracting bulk samples and exploratory drilling to target new discoveries. Drilling from underground is less costly and provides greater probability of success, especially since Castle has mapped previously discovered veins using its extensive data on all past drilling and mine workings at the Castle site from the early 1900s.
Beaver Silver-Cobalt Project
The Beaver silver-cobalt project is located in Ontario’s historic Cobalt mining camp, adjacent to the former Timiskaming silver mine and approximately 80 kilometers southeast of the past-producing Castle mine. The project itself includes a former producer, the Beaver mine, which produced 7.1 million ounces of silver and 139,472 pounds of cobalt from 1907 to 1940.
Sampling of historical waste rock and tailings at Beaver in 2013 returned 7.98 percent cobalt, 3.98 percent nickel, and 1,246 g/t silver. Castle Silver is conducting metallurgical testing of these to determine if the silver and cobalt remaining in the tailings and waste rock can be effectively recovered using modern technologies.
Castle Silver also holds the formerly producing Violet silver-cobalt mine located near the Beaver property in the Cobalt mining camp.
- Geophysical IP survey completed – results being reviewed to identify anomalies for Fall drill program
- Work underway at Level 1 underground – Castle is the only company in the Greater Cobalt Camp with access to underground workings via an adit
- Preparations on track to begin underground drill program
- High-grade cobalt and nickel found in 5 chip samples taken from a quartz-carbonate vein on Level 1 underground — Assays averaged 1.06% cobalt, 5.3% nickel and 17.5 g/t silver
- Bulk samples from underground being put through proprietary Re-2OX hydrometallurgical process to produce high-purity cobalt powders for battery sector end-buyer evaluation
- Re-2OX process being tested for recovery of cobalt and lithium from used lithium-ion batteries at SGS Lakefield laboratory
Upside Going Forward (as of June 2017)
- Upcoming assay results from bulk sampling
- Upcoming assay results from underground drilling
- Test results show that Re-2OX successfully produces cobalt powders that meet specs from battery makers
- Re-2OX proves in lab tests that it efficiently extracts cobalt, lithium and other metals from spent lithium-ion batteries (opening up potential new line of business for Castle)
- Rising cobalt prices
- Rising silver prices
Possible Near-term revenue potential
The tailings and waste rock stockpiles from the previous mining operations carried out on both the Castle and Beaver properties represent a potential near-term revenue generator for Castle Silver Resources. Metallurgical testing is underway to determine if silver, cobalt and other metals left in the material can be effectively extracted and processed using modern technological methods.
Preliminary results from bench-scale metallurgical flotation and gravity test work include recoveries of 98.5 percent silver and 70.5 percent cobalt from the Beaver waste pile, producing a concentrate of 11,876 grams per tonne silver and 10.5 percent cobalt using simple flotation. Using a simple gravity process, concentrate grades were 1,379 grams per tonne silver and 0.04 percent cobalt. Head assays were 108 grams per tonne silver with 0.02 percent cobalt.
Concentrate grades for the Castle tailings, following a simple gravity process, were 308 grams per tonne silver and 0.08 percent cobalt. Head assays were 123 grams per tonne silver with 0.01 percent cobalt.
“Preliminary test results are excellent, particularly from the waste rock collected from the Beaver Mine, and assay and gravity tests that indicate mining at Castle and Beaver in the 1900s left behind potentially recoverable amounts of silver and cobalt in the tailings that may now be extracted using modern metallurgical methods,” said Basa. “We are very encouraged by these metallurgical results. We plan to undertake additional metallurgical testing for the optimization of grind and reagents.”
Further metallurgical results are expected for release in 2017.
Frank J. Basa, P. Eng.—President, CEO and Director
Frank Basa has over 28 years’ global experience in mining and development as a professional hydro-metallurgical engineer with expertise in milling, gravity concentration, flotation, leaching and refining of silver, cobalt, gold and other metals. He is a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario and a graduate of McGill University. Basa has been the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Granada Gold Mine Inc. since June 18, 2004.
Thomas P. Devlin—CFO
Thomas Devlin brings to the company over 40 years of accounting and management experience in the investment and junior resource industries. Devlin has been Chief Financial Officer of Granada Gold Mine Inc. since July 3, 2009.
Dianne Tookenay, M.P.A. B. Admin—Director
Dianne Tookenay holds a Certificate in Mining Law from the Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, a Joint Masters of Public Administration from the University of Manitoba, a Bachelor of Administration from Lakehead University and Native Band Management and Indian Economic Development Diplomas from Confederation College Applied Arts and Technology. Tookenay’s experience, knowledge and deep roots within the First Nation communities will continue to add significant value to Castle’s development efforts over the coming years.
Jacques F. Monette—Director
Jacques Monette is a career miner who has been engaged in every facet of underground mining for more than 40 years. His previous positions included Shaft Project Coordinator with Cementation Canada Inc., Vice President of Operations/Mining Division for Wabi Development Corp., Vice President of Development for CMAC Mining Group, Operations Manager for Moran Mining and Tunneling, as well as Area Manager for J.S. Redpath Group.
Robert Setter B.A. Econ. —Director
Robert Setter is the former Senior Financial Editor for Report on Mining. He brings an extensive business, marketing and analysis background to the company, is a graduate of UBC and holds a BA in Economics. Setter serves as Corporate Research and Analytics for Granada Gold Mine Inc. since 2012.
Annemette Jorgensen brings over two decades of public company corporate development, finance, media, and public relations and investor relations expertise. Jorgensen has served on the board of Granada Gold Mine Inc. since April, 2012. As Manager of Debentures Investments with Samoth Capital Corporation, Jorgensen was responsible for raising over one million dollars per month.