Junior roundup: Azure, Almaden, Neo Lithium, Bacanora, Almadex

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Mexico-focused Azure Minerals reported diamond drilling intersected high grade zinc and lead mineralization at its flagship Oposura project in Sonora state.

Highlights include 6.9m at 13.1% zinc-lead from 42.2m and 16.6m at 18.2% zinc-lead from 21.2m, the company said a press release.

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Perth-based Azure is aiming to complete the resource drill-out in February and to complete its maiden mineral resource estimate by April.

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Vancouver-based Almaden Minerals said an arms-length social impact assessment of the Ixtaca gold-silver project in Mexico carried out by a consultant has been completed.

The study provided an objective insight into the degree to which the community members understand the project in Puebla state, and provides a valuable road map for further interactions with the communities, according to a statement.

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Argentina-focused Neo Lithium filed a technical report in connection with a preliminary economic assessment of its Tres Quebradas (3Q) lithium project in Catamarca province, the Toronto-based company said in a press release.

Following the release of the PEA in October, consultant GHD Chile was able to further optimize the layout of 3Q, which improved the economics of the project, without altering the assumptions for processing costs, the lithium market and price or other factors.

Capex was reduced to US$490mn from US$589mn, with an updated US$1.20bn after-tax NPV at an 8% discount rate from US$1.13bn previously. The IRR improved to 27.9% from 24.4%, and the payback period was reduced to 20 months from two years. Average production is put at 35,000t/y of lithium carbonate.

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Mexico-focused Bacanora Minerals announced a feasibility study for its Sonora lithium project, which it said confirms the positive economics and favorable operating costs of a 35,000t/y battery grade lithium carbonate operation.

The study estimates pre-tax NPV of US$1.25bn at an 8% discount rate and a pre-tax IRR of 26.1% and life of mine operating costs of US$3,910/t of lithium carbonate.

Subject to board approvals and other procedures, detailed design is expected to start in late 1Q18, Bacanora said in a statement.

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Vancouver's Almadex Minerals received assay results from holes EC-17-036 and 041 from the Raya Tembrillo area of its El Cobre project in Mexico. Highlights include 94.0m of 1.36% copper and 0.07g/t gold, including 43.0m of 2.45% copper and 0.09g/t gold, according to a release.