Strongbow Exploration CEO: Strongbow is Well Positioned as Tin Market Enters a Period of Supply Deficit

Strongbow Exploration CEO Richard Williams discusses the changing landscape for mining in the UK and the work being done at the South Crofty tin project.

Strongbow Exploration CEO (TSXV:SBW) Richard Williams feels that his company is in a strategic position as it develops its South Crofty tin project while the tin market enters a projected period of supply deficit.
In the interview below, Williams describes the work being done on the fully permitted UK-based project, and the strategic relationship the company has with Osisko Gold Royalties (TSX:OR,NYSE:OR).
Williams also highlights the “cast of all stars” on Strongbow’s board of directors, which includes mining industry specialists with well-known discoveries under their belts.
Below is a transcript of our interview with Strongbow Exploration CEO Richard Williams. It has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Investing News Network: Please give our investor audience an overview of Strongbow Exploration and its flagship South Crofty tin project in Cornwall, UK.
Strongbow Exploration CEO Richard Williams: Strongbow was restructured in 2015 and is now a member of the Osisko group. Osisko Gold Royalties is also our largest shareholder, owning 31 percent of the company.
Within the group, our mandate is to source and acquire high-quality strategic metal deposits in good jurisdictions. To that effect, Strongbow acquired the South Crofty tin project in Cornwall, UK last year.
INN: What, in your opinion, should investors know about the tin-mining industry?
RW: In recent years there has been a decline in the tin stocks available in the market. This has happened in part because the US used to keep a strategic tin stockpile that has been sold off over the last 30 years following the collapse of tin prices in 1985.
Tin production in the most notable manufacturing countries, like Peru, China, Malaysia and Indonesia, has declined in the last few years, resulting in a 50-percent growth in the price of tin in 2016, with prices reaching $10 a pound at the end of last year. The market is also entering a period of projected deficit over the next four to five years. All of this puts Strongbow in an excellent position.
INN: How does the UK compare to other mining jurisdictions in the world?
RW: The UK’s central and local governments have shown a significant change in mindset with regards to new mining opportunities. In 2014 or 2015, the country saw the build of its first new metals mine in 45 years: the Drakelands tungsten mine in Devon. Additionally, Sirius Minerals (LSE:SXX) is developing a polyhalite project in North York, and that’s one of the biggest new development projects in Europe, let alone the UK. That project is now fully permitted and Sirius has raised a billion dollars to commence the first phase of the project.
The level of support that we’ve seen from both the central and local governments suggests that the UK is currently a very attractive place in which to invest.

INN: Would you like to highlight any results from your recently published preliminary economic assessment (PEA)?
RW: South Crofty is a mine that has operated for over 400 years; its earliest documented production was in 1592. Our recently published PEA outlines an initial eight-year mine life, but due to its history, it’s fair to say that South Crofty has the potential to be a long-life mine. That is an attractive feature for Osisko Gold Royalties, which recently purchased a royalty on the property. The pre-production capital cost for the initial eight-year mine life is estimated to be US$118 million with a NPV of US$130 million.
INN: What does the recent water discharge permit mean for the project?
RW: When we acquired the project in 2016, the project was already equipped with a mining license valid until 2071. At this point, we also have planning permission to build a new process plant as well as the land on which to construct it. The water discharge permit was really the last permit we needed to make the project fully permitted. To get it, we conducted a four-month water treatment trial between November and March of this year. We successfully met the targets set by the UK Environment Agency, and that led to us being granted the discharge permit in the last month.
INN: What is next for the South Crofty project?
RW: The next step for us is to clear the flooded mine, which is why we needed the discharge permit. We recently announced a deal with Osisko to sell a 1.5-percent NSR royalty for just over C$7 million. The proceeds from that sale will fund the construction of the water treatment plant, for which we have begun the engineering, design and procurement processes. We expect to have the plant built and commissioned by the end of next year’s third quarter.
INN: Are there any executives you would like to highlight on your board and management team?
RW: You only have to take a look at our board of directors to see that it’s a cast of all stars. Grenville Thomas is our founder and an inductee in the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame. He was instrumental in the discovery of the Diavik diamond mine.
John Burzynski is one of the Osisko founders and he represents them on the board. He was part of the team that built the Malartic gold mine in Quebec, which Osisko subsequently sold for $4 billion.
Patrick Anderson was one of the founders of Aurelian Resources, which discovered the Fruta del Norte project in Ecuador. He currently runs Dalradian Resources (TSX:DNA;AIM:DALR) and is advancing the Curraghinalt project in Northern Ireland to production. Among those three men alone there’s a demonstrated track record of success and return to shareholders which is replicated across the rest of our team.

CEO interviews are part of investor education campaigns for clients advertising on the Investing News Network. Important news is contextualized by CEOs, and the resulting interviews are disseminated to the Investing News Network audience because they have value to market watchers.
The Investing News Network interviews a CEO for an understanding of their perspective on the company, the investment potential of the company and market news related to the company. The information contained here is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities.

Tin prices saw a recovery at the end of 2019, but the coronavirus outbreak has now had an impact, said Lynn Lupori of CRU Group.

Tin prices are still on track to see a slight recovery this year despite the short-term impact the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak could have on the market, according to Lynn Lupori, head of consulting at CRU Group. 

Speaking with the Investing News Network at this year’s Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada convention, Lupori said the tin market has not performed as expected so far this year.

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According to AfriTin, a second shipment of tin concentrate has also been dispatched from the Uis mine in Namibia.

London-listed AfriTin Mining (LSE:ATM,OTC Pink:AFTTF) has shipped the first tin concentrate from its flagship Uis tin mine in three decades, the company said on Tuesday (February 18).

AfriTin, which has assets in Namibia and South Africa, said it has delivered the first shipment of 6 metric tons of concentrate, grading more than 60 percent tin metal contained, to Thailand tin manufacturer Thaisarco. The companies signed a one year offtake agreement back in August — the same month AfriTin produced its first tin concentrate at Uis.

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In 2019, tin prices were on a downtrend, but what is the tin outlook for 2020? Read on to learn what analysts had to say.

Tin kicked off 2019 on a high note following a rocky 2018, but the metal was unable to keep up that momentum throughout the 12 month period. 

A lack of tin demand put pressure on prices, which have declined more than 11 percent year-to-date.

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Last week's top-gaining stocks on the TSX were Sierra Metals, Champion Iron, SouthGobi Resources, Verde Agritech and Forza Petroleum.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index (INDEXTSI:OSPTX) was trading at 21,198.01 by midday this past Friday (November 26). It closed the period at 21,129.53.

The index opened lower as energy stocks fell on the back of declining oil prices, which hit a two month low on the last day of the trading week.

On Friday, investors turned to safe haven assets as concerns over a new coronavirus variant increased. Gold gained, but silver fell and was on track for a weekly loss.

Last week's five TSX-listed mining stocks that saw the biggest gains are as follows:

  • Sierra Metals (TSX:SMT)
  • Champion Iron (TSX:CIA)
  • SouthGobi Resources (TSX:SGQ)
  • Verde Agritech (TSX:NPK)
  • Forza Petroleum (TSX:FORZ)

Here's a look at those companies and the factors that moved their share prices last week.

1. Sierra Metals

Sierra Metals is a growing polymetallic mining company with copper production from its Yauricocha mine in Peru and its Bolivar and Cusi mines in Mexico.

The company did not release news last week, but shares of Sierra Metals increased 8.67 percent during the period and were trading at C$1.88 by the end of the week.

2. Champion Iron

Champion Iron is an iron ore exploration and development company with several major projects in the Southern Labrador Trough, considered the largest iron ore-producing region in Canada.The company is currently developing eight iron-rich projects, including its flagship Bloom Lake asset.

Last week, Champion Iron shares increased 8.29 percent to end at C$4.05.

3. SouthGobi Resources

Integrated coal supplier SouthGobi Resources is focused on its flagship Ovoot Tolgoi mine, the closest coal mine to China, located 46 kilometers north of China-Mongolia border. The company also holds mining and exploration licences for other metallurgical and thermal coal deposits in the South Gobi province of Mongolia.

Over the five day period, shares of SouthGobi Resources increased 7.46 percent to end the week at C$0.36.

4. Verde Agritech

Verde AgriTech is developing its Cerrado Verde project, located in Brazil. The project is the source of a potassium-rich deposit from which the company intends to produce solutions for crop nutrition, crop protection, soil improvement and better sustainability.

Last Wednesday (November 24), the company announced a 169 percent rise in revenue for Q3, and revised its target for the year upward. Verde Agritech saw its share price increase 6.29 percent last week to hit C$1.86.

5. Forza Petroleum

Forza Petroleum, formerly Oryx Petroleum, is an oil exploration, development and production company. It has a 65 percent participating interest in and operates the Hawler license area in Iraq's Kurdistan region.

Last week, shares of Forza Petroleum increased 6.25 percent to trade at C$0.17 by the end of the week.

Data for 5 Top Weekly TSX Stocks articles is retrieved each Friday at 11:00 a.m. EST using TradingView's stock screener. Only companies with market capitalizations greater than C$50 million prior to the week's gains are included. Companies within the non-energy minerals and energy minerals are considered.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: Energy Fuels is a client of the Investing News Network. This artice is not paid-for content.

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Last week's top-gaining mining stocks on the TSXV were Adex Mining, Butte Energy, Noble Mineral Exploration, AurCrest Gold and International Iconic Gold.

The S&P/TSX Venture Composite Index (INDEXTSI:JX) ended last week on the decline, shedding 27 points shortly after the morning bell on Friday (November 26). It closed at 942.62.

Global markets were plunged into uncertainty as news that a recently discovered COVID-19 variant known as omicron may be more contagious and potentially vaccine resistant.

Several European and Asian nations scrambled during the last full week of November to implement border and flight restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of the variant, which was first detected in South Africa.

Concern that the new mutation could hinder economic recovery weighed heavily on North American markets, with most of the leading indexes slipping lower Friday morning. The energy sector bore the brunt of the declines, with West Texas crude oil dropping 9 percent and Brent crude losing 8 percent.

Gold also faced headwinds from the uncertainty. It fell below US$1,800 per ounce on Tuesday (November 23), and remained under pressure throughout the week, only briefly rallying above US$1,800 early on Friday.

Last week's five TSXV-listed mining stocks that saw the biggest gains are as follows:

Here's a look at what may have moved their share prices during the period.

1. Adex Mining

Explorer Adex Mining is developing the Mount Pleasant mine property in New Brunswick. The site houses two distinct deposits: the Fire Tower zone, which hosts a significant molybdenum and tungsten resource, and the North zone, which contains the world's largest indium reserve and one of North America's largest tin resources.

Adex filed a number of documents on SEDAR last week, including its latest management's discussion and analysis document. Company shares rose 50 percent for the last full week of November, ending the session at C$0.02.

2. Butte Energy

Butte Energy was previously engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of petroleum and natural gas reserves in Western Canada. The company sold its last remaining asset in 2017 and currently has no active operations other than the completion of reclamation activities on previously abandoned wells.

Late last year, Butte brought on a new board and management team that is actively evaluating potential opportunities, including those outside of the oil and gas industry.

Last Tuesday (November 23), the firm released its interim financial statement and management overview.

"In order to fund future operations or acquisitions, the company will need to raise additional funds by way of equity or debt. There is no assurance that the company will be able to raise such funds on terms acceptable to it," the overview reads. "These factors indicate the existence of a material uncertainty that may cast significant doubt about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern."

Shares of Butte rose 36.75 percent last week, ending the session at C$0.20.

3. Noble Mineral Exploration

Noble Mineral Exploration has holdings in Canada Nickel Company (TSXV:CNC,OTCQX:CNIKF), Spruce Ridge Resources (TSXV:SHL,OTC Pink:SRCGF) and MacDonald Mines Exploration (TSXV:BMK,OTC Pink:MCDMF).

Additionally, the diversified explorer has an interest in the Holdsworth gold exploration property near Wawa, Ontario. The property is comprised of approximately 72,000 hectares of mineral rights in the Timmins-Cochrane areas of Northern Ontario known as Project 81. According to Noble, Project 81 hosts diversified drill-ready gold, nickel-cobalt and base metals exploration targets at various stages of exploration.

Last week, the company entered into a letter of intent (LOI) with Canada Nickel Company to option mining claims in the Mann, Hanna, Duff and Reaume townships. The deal will also see Noble sell its MRO patents in Kingsmill and Mabee townships to the nickel-focused company.

"We are extremely pleased to be able to invite Canada Nickel, with their expertise, to secure this very large land package as it represents a 20km strike length where evidence of nickel, cobalt, PGM's, rhodium and rare earth minerals have been found to be present in work carried out by past explorers," said Vance White, president and CEO of Noble. The LOI news sent shares of Noble 22.83 percent higher, ending the trading week at C$0.13.

4. AurCrest Gold

AurCrest Gold is a mineral exploration company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of gold properties. Presently, the gold-centered firm has a portfolio of assets in Ontario, including the Richardson Lake, Ranger Lake and Bridget Lake gold projects.

In mid-November, the explorer released results from a spring/summer program at its 100 percent owned Ranger Lake property. The program consisted of nine drill holes designed to test one of three high-priority targets.

"Eight drill holes encountered sulphide veins and stringer zones over 1-7 metre intervals hosted in a metasedimentary sequence," the report reads. "Veins and host rocks are sheared and folded, and display characteristics consistent with stages of post-mineralization deformation and partial melting, the latter inferred by quartz-alkali feldspar leucosomal bands."

AurCrest shares added 22.46 percent last week to trade for C$0.35.

5. International Iconic Gold

Exploration company International Iconic Gold is focused on developing its wholly owned San Roque gold project, located in the Rio Negro province of Northeastern Patagonia, Argentina.

According to the company, a gold, silver and base metals resource assessment released in July 2019 shows an inferred mineral resource of 32.9 million tonnes grading 1.42 grams per tonne gold equivalent (AuEq) for 1,499,900 AuEq ounces at a cut-off grade of 0.6 grams per tonne AuEq.

Last Wednesday (November 24), the firm increased its ownership to 100 percent in Minas San Roque (MSR), which owns the legal title to the mining claims comprising Iconic Gold's flagship San Roque property.

"MSR's ownership of the deposit and the prospective geology around it are protected by a system of mine rights. Three federal government mining concessions, known as 'Minas,' totaling 94.5 square kilometers (sq. km) have been granted to MSR," the late November press release states. "In addition, MSR controls eleven temporary mineral exploration licenses, known as 'Cateos,' covering 645 sq. km around the Minas."

By Friday, shares of Iconic Gold had climbed 20.77 percent to close at C$0.14.

Data for 5 Top Weekly TSXV Stocks articles is retrieved each Friday at 11:00 a.m. EST using TradingView's stock screener. Only companies with market capitalizations greater than C$10 million prior to the week's gains are included. Companies within the non-energy minerals and energy minerals are considered.

Don't forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Georgia Williams, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

Editorial Disclosure: Canada Nickel Company, MacDonald Mines Exploration, Noble Mineral Exploration and Spruce Ridge Resources are clients of the Investing News Network. This article is not paid-for content.


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