Commander Resources Ltd is pleased to report that its project partner Fjordland Exploration Inc. will fund a minimum $1,200,000 exploration program on the company's South Voisey's Bay nickel-copper-cobalt project (the "SVB Property") located 80 kilometres south of Vale's Voisey's Bay nickel mine in Labrador, Canada. Fjordland's funding will be provided by its strategic investor, High Power Exploration Inc.

The large 29,400 Ha SVB Property is located in central Labrador 80 kilometres south of Vale's Voisey's Bay Nickel mine and covers parts of the Pants Lake Gabbro Complex.


Fjordland recently completed a 1469 metre drill program in which hole 17-6 returned a 3.9 metre interval of semi-massive to massive sulphide comprised of pyrrhotite, pentlandite and chalcopyrite grading 0.37% nickel, 0.27% copper and 0.1 % cobalt at the base of the Worm Gabbro within a sequence of troctolite. Borehole Electro-Magnetic (BHEM) data, collected by Crone Geophysics in November, defined several extremely high conductivity targets in particularly in holes 17-6 and 17-7 where a strong conductor was associated with the intersected sulphides, and an even stronger non-decaying off-hole conductor.

Drilling in 2017 was centred on modeled conductors derived from re-processed historical UTEM-3 surveys conducted in 2002 and 2014.

Targeting incorporated recent geological concepts being successfully applied at the Voisey's Bay Mine wherein structure plays an important ore control role and where massive sulphide accumulations may also occur in wall rock structures. Ongoing processing of historical geophysical surveys completed by previous project operators and aided by recent improved geological insights derived from the recent drilling has outlined numerous untested conductors throughout the property and will form the basis of the 2018 drill program.

Fjordland currently has a 35% project interest. Under the terms of the Commander/Fjordland option agreement, announced on June 5, 2017, Fjordland may earn up to a 100% interest in the property by paying Commander combined cash payments of $290,000, completing $8.0 million in exploration expenditures and issuing to Commander an aggregate of 4.5 million shares of Fjordland.

Upon Fjordland acquiring a 100% interest in the project, Commander will retain a 2% NSR with Fjordland having the right to buy down 50% of the Royalty for a payment of $5,000,000 as a cash payment, or a cash payment equal $2,500,000 plus the issuance of shares having a fair market value of 50% of the buy down amount. Commander will receive a $10,000,000 advance royalty payment at the commencement of commercial production.

Fjordland is 30% held by an affiliate of HPX who have separately entered into a funding agreement with Fjordland to provide up to $7.4 million in expenditures and $290,000 in property payments, following which Fjordland has agreed to assign a 65% project interest in SVB to HPX (see FEX news release dated August 28, 2017).

HPX is a privately owned, metals-focused exploration company deploying proprietary in-house geophysical technologies to rapidly evaluate mineral prospects. The HPX technology cluster comprises systems for targeting, modelling, survey optimization, acquisition, processing and interpretation. HPX has a highly experienced board and management team led by Co-Chair and Chief Executive Officer Robert Friedland.

Robert Cameron, P. Geo. is a qualified person within the context of National Instrument 43-101 and has read and takes responsibility for the technical aspects of this release.


About Commander Resources:

Commander Resources is a Canadian focused exploration company that has leveraged its success in exploration through partnerships and sale of properties, while retaining equity and royalty interests. Commander has a portfolio of base and precious metal projects across Canada and significant equity positions in Maritime Resources Corp. (MAE-TSX.V) and Aston Bay Holdings (BAY-TSX.V). Commander also retains royalties from properties that have been partnered, optioned or sold.

Hydro's CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg has appointed CFO Eivind Kallevik as interim head of Bauxite & Alumina with immediate effect, replacing Silvio Porto, in response to the challenging situation at the Alunorte alumina refinery that is currently operating at 50 percent capacity. Kallevik will at the same time remain in his position as CFO.


Brandtzæg will further commission an independent review of Alunorte by an internationally renowned environmental consultancy, announced measures to assist local communities in Barcarena, and established a project to review and consider further strengthening the robustness of the water treatment at Alunorte, to be led by former head of Bauxite & Alumina Silvio Porto.


"The challenging situation at Alunorte requires a dedicated focus and organization beyond operational competence and capabilities," says CEO Svein Richard Brandtzæg. "I am grateful that Kallevik is prepared to take on this significant responsibility, and that Silvio Porto will lead the important project launched to further strengthen the environmental robustness of Alunorte."


Eivind Kallevik held the position as Head of Finance for Bauxite & Alumina in Brazil for two years before taking up the position as CFO in 2013, as well as leading the business area in an interim period in 2016.


Following a period of extraordinary rainfall, federal, state and local authorities in Brazil have ordered a series of measures over concerns that the rain had led to spills from Alunorte into the nearby Para river and caused contamination. These measures include reducing production by 50 percent at Alunorte and halting operations at its bauxite residue disposal DRS2.


The independent review by the internationally renowned environmental consultancy is expected to announce its conclusions and action plans during the first week of April. The review comes in addition to an already established expert task force leading a comprehensive study of Alunorte, reporting directly to the CEO.


Hydro collaborates with local institutions on humanitarian relief to assist communities in Barcarena within health and water. For neighboring communities Vila Nova, Burajuba and Bom Futuro, Hydro commits to working with local partners and investing in proper water supply. Hydro further commits to work with community, civil society and government to clarify the sources of water pollution and other water-related issues in the Barcarena region.


Hydro will also to review and consider further strengthening of Alunorte's water treatment system as a proactive response to possible future climate and weather changes. This project will be led by Silvio Porto, reporting to Kallevik.


Hydro is South America's biggest aluminium company after acquiring Brazilian mining company Vale's aluminium assets in the state of Pará in 2011. Alunorte is the world's largest alumina refinery, employs around 2,000 people and has a nameplate capacity of an annual 6.3 million tonnes. Hydro owns 92.1 percent of Alunorte.

Zinc One Resources Inc. is pleased to provide an update on the current drill program at its Bongará Zinc Mine project located in north-central Peru.

As previously reported , the Peruvian Ministry of Energy and Mines approved 124 drill platforms with up to three drill holes per platform along the 1.4-kilometre trend that includes the Bongarita, Mina Chica, and Mina Grande high-grade zinc mineralization at or near the surface. The Bongarita and Mina Chica are of particular interest because they have never been drilled.



Two portable drill rigs operated by Energold Drilling Group are currently on site. To date, 31 drill holes have been completed at Bongarita by the first drill rig and seven drill holes have been completed at Mina Grande Sur by the second drill rig. Core samples from most of this drilling have been sent for laboratory analysis. Once drilling at Bongarita and Mina Grande Sur is completed, the rigs will be moved to the Mina Chica and Mina Grande Centro areas.


Jim Walchuck, President and CEO of Zinc One commented, "The drill program is proceeding as planned and we expect the initial results from the lab towards the end of Q1 2018. Bongará continues to reveal high-grade zinc results based on results from the recently completed sampling program (see Company news releases*) along the 1.4-kilometre trend of surface and near-surface zinc mineralization. Drilling along this trend will provide us with additional confidence in the high grades of zinc already recognized in the area and at least ten of the historic drill holes will be twinned to verify and validate historic assays.

The drilling will also establish thicknesses and better delineate the mineralization at Bongarita, Mina Chica, and Mina Grande. More importantly, it allows us to complete an initial resource estimate. Following completion of the drill program, we will focus on completing a Preliminary Economic Assessment and continue our metallurgical testing."

Future Drilling Planned
Within the next 30 days, the Company plans to file a new permit application to drill approximately an additional 400 platforms in areas surrounding the current drill program. The objective of this planned drilling will be to delineate and expand mineral resources beyond that which will be delineated by the current drill program.

Focus will be along the eastern, western, and southern edges of the Mina Grande Sur area, between Mina Chica and Bongarita, and between Mina Chica and Mina Grande Norte. These are areas that past exploration work did not sufficiently explore and which the current program could not include.

In addition, the Company is considering a program comprised of 40 drill platforms at Campo Cielo, which has promising exploration upside due to its proximity to Bongarita. This area has been subject to past trenching and sampling that revealed high-grade zinc at or near the surface similar to the outcropping mineralization at Mina Chica and Mina Grande.

Geology and Discussion of Results

The zinc mineralization at Bongará is hosted by carbonate rocks and is classified as a Mississippi Valley-type deposit. The mineralization is stratabound and is basically a tabular body with irregular boundaries. Hydrozincite, smithsonite, hemimorphite, and baumite are the primary zinc minerals that are hosted primarily by heavily-weathered fractured dolomites and dolomite breccias. At Bongarita specifically, mineralization is exclusively hosted by soils. Overall, the mineralization is focused along the axis of a doubly-plunging anticline as well as within the eastern flank of the anticline.

Qualified Person

The technical content of this news release has been reviewed, verified and approved by Dr. Bill Williams, COO and Director of Zinc One, a qualified person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.

About Zinc One Resources Inc.

Zinc One is focused on the exploration and development of prospective and advanced zinc projects in mining-friendly jurisdictions. Zinc One's key assets are the Bongará Zinc Mine Project and the Charlotte Bongará Zinc Project in north-central Peru. The Bongará Zinc Mine Project was in production from 2007 to 2008, but was closed due to the global financial crisis and concurrent decrease in the zinc price.

Past production included 20% zinc grades and recoveries over 90% from surface and near-surface zinc-oxide mineralization. High-grade, zinc-oxide mineralization is known to outcrop between the mined area and the Charlotte Bongará Project, which is nearly six kilometres to the NNW and where past drilling intercepted various near-surface zones with high-grade zinc. Zinc One is managed by a proven team of geologists and engineers who have previously constructed and operated successful mining operations.

Portofino is pleased to announce that it has executed a binding agreement with a private Argentine concession owner to acquire a 100% interest in the Yergo and Yergo 2 lithium brine salar projects in Catamarca, Argentina which comprise over 3,500 Hectares ("Ha").

The property locations can be viewed on the property map link below:

Portofino Resources — Catamarca Lithium Projects

The Yergo (2932 Ha.) project is located 30 kilometres ("km") south of Portofino's Project II, and approximately 20 km south-east of Neo Lithium Corp's 3Q project.


The Yergo 2 project (614 Ha) is located approximately 20 km south of the Company's Rio Grande Sur project and 23 km west of the Antofalla salar currently being explored by Albermarle Corporation.

To acquire a 100% interest in the properties, Portofino has agreed to make annual escalating payments to the vendor over a 27-month period totalling US$500,000 as follows:
                  a)    US$30,000 on signing,
                  b)    US$20,000 within 3 months,
                  c)    By the 15 month anniversary of TSX-V approval- US$125,000,
                  d)    By the 24 month anniversary of approval- US$150,000,  
                  e)    By the 27 month anniversary of approval- US$175,000

The Company is not aware of any historical exploration work previously completed on the Yergo projects.


About Portofino Resources Inc.

Portofino is a Vancouver, Canada based Company focused on acquiring, exploring and developing mineral resource projects in the Americas. The Company has executed agreements pursuant to six prospective lithium salar properties in Catamarca, Argentina and currently holds an interest in over 17,000 Hectares.

The Democratic Republic of Congo tried to strike a more conciliatory tone Wednesday after a week of increasingly heated exchanges between Africa’s top copper producer and some of its largest foreign investors.


Mining companies are furiously lobbying the government to roll back a reformed mining law passed last month by Congo’s parliament with last-minute changes that will financially hurt producers in the country. The dispute escalated this week when the country’s biggest state-owned miner pledged to renegotiate its partnerships with international mining firms.


Congo wants to work with the mining industry to implement the new law, Minister of Mines Martin Kabwelulu told a packed room of executives at the Mining Indaba in Cape Town Wednesday. He gave no indication though that the government could reopen the debate on the legislation.

"We have walked this road together," Kabwelulu said of the five-year-long mining code reform process. The new legislation will have to be applied by the government and the private sector together, Kabwelulu said.
His comments didn’t persuade Randgold Chief Executive Officer Mark Bristow.

"We did have a constructive engagement and we did reach agreement," Bristow said. "The code that was presented to parliament was not that draft."

Mining executives are lobbying President Joseph Kabila, who must sign the new legislation into law, to re-open the debate. The president is yet to sign the legislation, Kabila’s chief diplomatic adviser, Barnabe Kikaya Bin Karubi, said by phone from the Congolese capital.

Kabwelulu “compared the new code to a bushfire which only plants with strong roots will survive," Congo mining expert
Elisabeth Caesens said after attending the meeting. "Investors will use all means at their disposal to avoid billions in investment getting burnt down, but there’s little indication that there’s room for negotiations."

Still, billionaire mining investor Robert Friedland said he’s hopeful for more dialogue.

Friedland, whose Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. is developing Africa’s biggest copper discovery in southeast Congo, said he doesn’t mind paying higher royalties or taxes, but that stability and transparency is key for the industry."Everything is based on trust," Friedland said. "We can work together."

Yuma absent
Absent from the meeting was Gecamines’ Chairman Albert Yuma, who was a key supporter of the new legislation’s most aggressive tax hikes and this week accused the country’s biggest copper miners — including Glencore Plc and China Molybdenum Co. — of heavily indebting their local operations and failing to share profits with the Congolese state.
Yuma is also chairman of Congo’s biggest private sector organization, the Federation des Entreprises du Congo or FEC, which houses the country’s chamber of mines. Its members — including Randgold, Ivanhoe and Glencore — lobbied against many of the changes, making Yuma’s support for the reforms controversial for many executives.

"I would share my disappointment in the FEC chairman," Bristow said. "Suggesting nationalization, suggesting all sorts of accusations towards the mining industry" is completely inappropriate, he said.

Russia's Norilsk Nickel, the world's leading palladium producer, said in a statement on Wednesday it is planning a joint venture with Russian Platinum, to expand mining of metals belonging to the platinum group.

Nornickel's co-owner, billionaire Vladimir Potanin, was cited by RIA news agency as saying he expects to attract 250 billion roubles ($4.4 billion) in investment for the project, which the company said in its earlier statement would produce between 70 to 100 tonnes of platinum-group metals per year.

Investors sold off copper on Wednesday as the US dollar strengthened and equity and bond market volatility spilled over onto commodity markets.


Comex copper plunged more than 3% to a low of $3.085 a pound ($6,800 per tonne) in New York, an eight-week low. Volumes were particularly heavy,  with more than 185,000 lots worth some $14.3 billion traded by the close. After a 30% jump in 2017, copper has now lost 6.5% of its value year-to-date.


Given its widespread use in construction, transportation and power grid infrastructure copper is considered a good barometer of the world economy. With forecasts for the global economy pointing to 4% growth in 2018, demand for the metal should remain robust this year.


But analysts are beginning to caution about too much optimism for industrial metals with Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke warning about a possible slowdown in China, which consumes some 45% of the world's copper:

“Instead of just focusing on the global growth outlook, which is positive, you should keep an eye on what we call China’s old economy – the property market, the infrastructure segment,” Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke said. “That’s where we expect a slowdown sometime this year.”

A research note from Capital Economics points out that large-scale speculators in copper futures and options such as hedge funds have become more cautious about the outlook for the bellwether metal.

Net long positions – bets that copper will be more expensive in future – on the Comex market in New York and on the London Metal Exchange have been slashed since the start of the year.

“China’s property sector consumes more copper than the U.S. alone,” he said.Others are more sanguine with investment bank Citigroup saying in a note following the equity rout on Monday that the fundamental outlook across raw materials remains solid:

“Global growth is synchronized, solid and forecast to accelerate, output gaps are closing and risks to inflation are skewed to the upside. The recent selloff in rates and equities, and spike in volatility, presents an opportunity to rotate into industrial metals.”

Other industrial metals were also punished on Monday with lead tumbling 4.4% to $2,507 a tonne on the LME, the lowest this year. Last week, the battery metal hit its highest since July 2011 at $2,885.

Zinc retreated further from decade highs hit in January to trade at $3,380 a tonne. Nickel lost 1.6% to $13,175 a tonne.

Rio Tinto , the world’s No.2 mining company, showed investors Wednesday how well it has ridden the wave of higher commodity prices by announcing a record dividend on the back of a big surge in annual profit and its cost cutting drive.

The company, which admitted is hunting for acquisitions, including in new commodities such as lithium, handed shareholders $1.80 per stock, taking its payout for 2017 to $2.90. The figure is the highest in Rio’s history and almost 71% more than the one it paid last year. As a result, cash returns to investors for 2017 totalled $9.7 billion.


Net profit for the year rose 90% (you read that right) to $8.8 billion, compared to the $4.6bn recorded in 2016. Underlying net profit after tax, in turn, was $8.62bn, up from $5.1bn in 2016, slightly ahead of market forecasts. Analysts expected the company to report $8.5bn.

Rio's largest division, iron ore, delivered the lion's share of revenue, as prices have recovered and remained relatively stable — trading around $75 a tonne — in the past year.

The record results are the first annual report for chief executive Jean-Sébastien Jacques, who took over from former boss Sam Walsh in July 2016.

Under Jacques, Rio has focused on cutting costs, generating cash and returning as much of it as possible to investors through dividends and share buybacks.
 
Iron ore accounts for almost 90% of Rio's earnings. (Taken from: Rio Tinto’s 2017 Full Year Results Presentation.)
"I'm very proud of what the team has achieved. Biggest dividend ever in the 125-year history of the company and we believe that we’ll be able to generate a lot of cash again this year,”Jacques told reporters on an earnings call.

With net debt below $4 billion, Rio Tinto is once again in a position to look for fresh opportunities and projects. But analysts, including Investec’s mining expert Hunter Hillcoat, believe Rio is unlikely to embark on any “multibillion-dollar expansions” to chase mergers and acquisitions or pay a premium for other commodities, such as copper, given the industry’s history of overspending.

“The only way to rebalance their portfolio is to take on additional growth in other commodities like copper, either through acquisitions where they’ll have to pay a premium or through expansion, but they don’t really have too many meaningful growth options there,” Hillcoat told Bloomberg News.

Tainted reputation
Despite the positive results, the company is still battling reputational damage brought by a series of incidents, including a probe into a questionable payment made to an external consultant over the Simandou iron ore project in Guinea.

It is also facing fraud charges from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the country’s top securities regulator, related to the miner's and two former executive’s alleged covered-up of multi-billion-dollar losses on a coal investment in Mozambique, allegations which the two men and the company deny.

Rio has also been recently accused of dodging $700 million in taxes at its massive Oyu Tolgoi copper and gold mine in Mongolia.

Shares in Canada’s Northern Vertex Mining were up Wednesday after the miner said is closer than ever to pour first gold at its Moss mine, in northwestern Arizona.

The Vancouver-based company said that roughly 7,800 tonnes of ore have been stacked on the pad to date, and production is ramping up towards an initial stacking rate of 2,500 tpd, to later reach 5,000 tpd.


All of the crushing plant components have been tested and commissioned, piping on the heap leach pad has commenced,
and the refinery furnace is to be commissioned next week, the miner said.

Northern Vertex’s shares were up 1.85% on Friday morning to 55 cents, with a 52-week trading range of 42 cents to 70 cents. The company has a $96.3-million market capitalization.

The miner recently received a $5-million funding tranche and signed a $6-million working capital deal.
The Moss gold-silver project, which the company believes it has the potential to be “America’s next gold mine,” encompasses 15 patented lode claims covering 1 sq. km and 468 unpatented lode claims for a total 40 square kilometres.

Based on the latest Preliminary Economic Assessment, the mine has an expected life of 10 years, but management intends to conduct an aggressive exploration and resource expansion program during the first two years of production in order to further expand existing resources.

Capital expenses are pegged at $61.6 million, including $37.5 million in sunk costs for building the phase-two pit design. Operating costs are estimated at $190 million.

Volt its mining licence applications for the Bunyu graphite Stage 2 development. Both stages would use the same mine infrastructure.project. the mining licences for both Stage 1 and stage 2.

The applications cover both the Stage 1 development, where an estimate 400 000 t/y of ore will be processed producing a nominal 20 000 t/y of graphite products, and the Stage 2 expansion, which will be based on the prefeasibility study metrics of 3.8-million tonnes a year of ore to produce 170 000 t/y of graphite product.

 


The Stage 2 expansion is targeted for completion by late 2020.Volt explained on Thursday that the mining licences for both stages were lodged together, as the footprint of Stage 1 also accommodated the Stage 2 development. Both stages would use the same mine infrastructure.

The company has previously submitted its environmentaland social impact statement, which the National Environment Management Council has to approve.Volt recently partnered with Exotix Capital on a $40-million bond issue for project funding for Bunyu.
The Bunyu project hosts Tanzania’s largest graphite deposit, with a Joint Ore Reserve Committee-compliant resource of 461-million tonnes at 4.9% total graphitic content, for 22.6-million tonnes of contained graphite.

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