Metal Mining Industry Shows Signs of Recovery

NEW YORK, January 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

The metal mining industry is diverse and complex. According to a report by PWC, 2016 has been a turning point in the industry as fundamentals started to improve. Data shows that 2016 marked the return of mining companies to profitability. The report indicates that the Top 40 companies recorded and aggregated a net profit of $20 billion that year, after an aggregate loss of $28 billion in 2015. Major mining metals include iron, lead, copper, zinc, cobalt, and aluminum. Gold, platinum, palladium, and silver are among the precious mining metals. The role these base metals play across a wide range of industries is crucial, as these minerals affect the growth of the utilities, infrastructure, and manufacturing sectors of all countries. Boreal Metals Corp. (TSX-V: BMX), Silvercorp Metals Inc. (NYSE: SVM), Trilogy Metals Inc. (NYSE: TMQ), Almaden Minerals Ltd. (NYSE: AAU), Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. (NYSE: FSM)  

The PWC research states, "Valuations also climbed, especially for the traditional miners, with the trend continuing through Q1 2017 even as commodity prices remained flat. The mining industry remains a long way off the peaks of previous cycles, but it has regrouped and begun to rise again… Overall the market capitalization of the Top 40 increased in 2016 by 45 percent to $714 billion, approaching the 2014 level. Rising commodity prices played a driving role... By the end of April 2017, valuations had gained an additional $34 billion during a period when spot commodity prices were relatively flat. This data suggest that the market is valuing stronger balance sheets and solid management, suggesting that investor trust is on the rise and the recovery is sustainable."

Boreal Metals Corp. (TSX-V: BMX) is currently listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker 'BMX'. Just earlier today the company announced breaking news that, "the execution of a definitive agreement with EMX Royalty Corp. ("EMX") (NYSE American: EMX, TSXV: EMX) to acquire the Modum Project ("Modum" or the "Project"). The Modum Project surrounds southern Norway's historic Skuterud Mine (also known as the Modum Mine), which was Europe's largest and highest grade producer of cobalt though the nineteenth century.  

"The Modum Project includes an impressive 12,000 Ha with 12 kilometers of cobalt prospective geology, with stand-alone mining potential," stated President and CEO Karl Antonius. "Boreal is excited about the timely acquisition of a high grade cobalt project within an emerging battery production sector in the Nordic Region."

The Nordic Region and Battery Metals Market - The Nordic region is host to 26 active mines and seven smelters.  This region has excellent infrastructure including deep water ports with year round ice-free harbours, extensive roads, rail and access to skilled workforce, mining universities, and support services.

Northvolt ( ) has selected a location in Sweden to build Europe's biggest battery factory, which is expected to rival to Tesla's U.S. Gigafactory. Former Tesla executive Peter Carlsson's Northvolt suggests that the Swedish plant will rival the scale of the U.S. electric carmaker's Gigafactory in the Nevada desert, targeting an annual cell production equivalent to 32 gigawatt-hours by 2023. Northvolt has announced that that they plan on utilizing as much locally sourced materials as possible for battery production.

Overview of Modum Project - The 13,115 Ha Modum project is located approximately 75 kilometres west of Oslo, Norway.  The Modum project is accessible year-round, with robust infrastructure including road, rail, power, and skilled labour in nearby municipalities.  The Modum property position surrounds an inlier of exploration licenses held and explored by third parties that partially cover the historic Skuterud Mine (Figure 2).  Historic mine workings, prospects and trends of mineralization extend onto the Boreal property. Modum was the primary source of the cobalt used for blue pigment in Europe during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  Historic production from the Skuterud Mine is estimated to have been on the order of 1,000,000 tons Co, with significant copper and gold5…

History of the Modum District - Cobalt ore was discovered at the Skuterud Mine in 1772 (also known as the Modum Mine), which is the type locality of the mineral Skuterudite (CoAs3).  Production from open pits commenced in 1776, but mining transitioned underground in 1827 and continued through 1898.  The Skuterud Mine supplied over 80% of the world's commercially produced cobalt in the 1820's and 1830's with some byproduct copper.  Gold is also enriched in the Modum mineralization but there are no records for precious metal production…  

Qualified Person - Daniel MacNeil, P.Geo, a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101, has read and approved all technical and scientific information related to the Modum project contained in this news release.  Mr. MacNeil is Vice President Exploration for Boreal Metals Corp.

Silvercorp Metals Inc. (NYSE: SVM) is a low-cost silver-producing Canadian mining company with multiple mines in China. The company recently commenced commercial production at its GC silver-lead-zinc project in Guangdong Province, its newest production base in China. While the Company's near team focus is on cost control, cash preservation, and protecting its strong balance sheet, longer term Silvercorp plans to continue its growth through future consolidation, exploration, mine development and acquisition, with a focus in China. On November 23, 2017, the company announced a Normal Course Issuer Bid to acquire up to 8,409,712, common shares, representing approximately 5% the 168,194,254 common shares issued and outstanding as of November 16, 2017.  The repurchase program will run from November 27, 2017 to November 26, 2018.  The Company is taking this action because it believes that prevailing market conditions have resulted in Silvercorp's shares being undervalued relative to the immediate and long term value of Silvercorp's portfolio of producing properties in China and other strategic investments.

Trilogy Metals Inc. (NYSE: TMQ) is dedicated to advancing exploration at the Upper Kobuk Mineral Projects, high-grade copper-zinc-lead-gold-silver properties in Northwest Alaska. Recently, the company announced that South32 Limited has committed to fund the US$10 million 2018 program and budget for the Bornite Project. The funds, which represent the second tranche of US$10 million, maintains the Option Agreement (see below) in good standing, and will be transferred before January 31, 2018. The 2018 program will include in-fill and off-set drilling to better define and expand the high grade copper resources at Bornite. The 2018 Program was recently approved by the joint Trilogy-South32 Technical Committee.

Almaden Minerals Ltd. (NYSE: AAU) owns 100% of the Tuligtic project in Puebla State, Mexico, subject to a 2.0% NSR royalty held by Almadex Minerals Limited. Tuligtic covers the Ixtaca Gold-Silver Deposit, which was discovered by Almaden in 2010. Recently, the company announced that in the Spring of 2017 it engaged an arms-length consultant to conduct a Social Impact Assessment of the Ixtaca Project. Almaden has now received a summary report of the SIA, which provides objective insight into the degree to which community members understand the Ixtaca project, and provides a valuable road map for further interactions with the communities who live local to the Ixtaca project area in Puebla State, Mexico.

Fortuna Silver Mines Inc. (NYSE: FSM) is a rapidly growing precious metals producer, operating two low-cost mines in Peru and Mexico and holding commanding land positions in Peru, Mexico and Argentina. Fortuna expects to increase annual production to 8.1 million ounces of silver, 52.4 thousand ounces of gold, 30.0 million pounds of lead and 41.0 million pounds of zinc in 2017. On November 8, 2017, the company reported net income of $10.3 million, Adjusted EBITDA of $30.6 million, and revenue of $64.0 million in the third quarter of 2017. Silver production at the Caylloma Mine for the third quarter of 2017 was 234,806 ounces, 24% lower than the comparable period in 2016. Lead and zinc production were 7.7 million and 11.2 million pounds, respectively; 3%, and 6% higher than the comparable quarter in 2016.

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