Demand for Critical Minerals on the Rise with Increasing Applications for Cleantech and Carbon Reduction, says US Geological Survey
Vancouver, BC, Canada, April 2, 2019 – Deer Horn Capital Inc. (CSE: DHC, OTCBB: GODYF) (or “Deer Horn”) announces that the US Department of the Interior/US Geological Survey (USGS), in its latest report on Characterization and Identification of Critical Mineral Resources, has reported:
“Global demand for critical mineral commodities is on the rise with increasing applications in consumer products, computers, automobiles, aircraft, and other advanced technology products.” Much of this demand growth, says the agency, “…is driven by new technologies that increase energy efficiency and decrease reliance on fossil fuels.”
“We have been following this trend for several years,” said Deer Horn President and CEO Tyrone Docherty. “We know that the global effort to reduce carbon emissions will require enormous amounts of critical minerals, which is why we have made it our mission to explore for and develop economic sources of these metals. Not only is the demand increasing, Deer Horn can be part of the solution for climate change in supplying them.
Dependable supplies of critical minerals are considered essential to the U.S. economy and security. Last year the Department of the Interior, through the USGS, published its latest list of 35 critical minerals. These are minerals the U.S. Government identifies as having a supply chain vulnerable to disruption and that serve an essential function in the manufacturing of a product, “…the absence of which would have significant consequences for the economy or national security.”
Docherty noted that, “According to our recently-updated NI 43-101 Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA), the Deer Horn Property in west-central British Columbia contains at least three of the minerals designated by the USGS as “critical” – tellurium, tungsten and bismuth. The property also contains silver and copper, both essential for solar power.”
Tellurium (Te) is key to this mix at Deer Horn. The blog Critical Metals reports that, “With solar energy growing exponentially, the supply of Te is becoming an issue of concern. The U.S. (and indeed the world) gets most of its Te as a by-product of copper refining.”
The USGS reports that approximately 85% of global tellurium is derived through a copper recovery process called electrolytic refining. To increase copper recovery from low-grade deposits, there is currently a shift in the copper production mode from electrolytic refining to solvent extraction-electrowinning (SX-EW) and copper recycling, neither of which produces tellurium as a byproduct.
In a supporting study, the U.S. Department of the Interior noted that tellurium is currently recovered as a primary resource from only two locations in the world. Critical Metals identifies these sources as “The Kankberg Mine in Västerbotten County, Sweden, which produces about 10% of the world’s tellurium, and the Dashuigou and Majiagou mines in China, which together produce from 2% to 7% of the world’s tellurium.”
Noting this domestic threat to tellurium supplies, the USGS has emphasized, “It is imperative that we understand the enrichment processes of potential alternative sources of tellurium, such as epithermal gold deposits.”
In assessing known epithermal gold deposits with meaningful amounts of recoverable tellurium, the USGS has identified the Deer Horn property as one of North America’s key tellurium properties. In its 40-page report on Tellurium from the comprehensive Critical Mineral Resources of the United States—Economic and Environmental Geology and Prospects for Future Supply, the USGS states:
“The Deer Horn intermediate-sulfidation epithermal deposit in west-central British Columbia, Canada, contains high gold and silver grades with abundant base-metal sulfides and telluride minerals.”
The report also notes the high grades of tellurium achieved in Deer Horn drill results, with some “in the thousands of parts per million.”
According to Critical Metals , the USGS also included the Deer Horn property In its latest Professional Paper 1802-R on tellurium. “Most of these (epithermal deposits) contain gold,” says Critical Metals , “and would likely be mined for the gold first and Te second (or even third, if the deposit contains silver).”
Tellurium end users have expressed interest in the Deer Horn Property, noting that the gold and silver could greatly offset the cost of extracting the tellurium. The Deer Horn PEA notes that the indicated resource grades (using a 1 g/t cut-off) average 5.12 g/t Au, 157.5 g/t Ag and 160 ppm Te.
About Deer Horn Capital
Deer Horn Capital is committed to exploring for, and providing, strategic and critical metals vital to a low-carbon economy and for the advancement of technology. The Company’s leadership has a track record of project monetization with a board and advisory group that includes industry leaders in finance, mineral property development, geology, mineralogy, solar power, engineering, research and First Nations engagement and economic development.
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