RANKED: Top 10 mining projects with world’s most valuable ore
In mining, grade is king. Across the commodity spectrum, some of the most anticipated results — which can determine the scope of a mining project — are assay values from drill testing.
As one of mining’s most influential figures, Robert Friedland, sums it up:
“Mining 101. High grade is good. Low grade is bad.”
“The higher the grade, the smaller the environmental footprint, Friedland has said. “The higher the grade, the smaller the plant; the less the electrical consumption, the smaller the labour force, the smaller the tailings pond, the less the global warming gas per unit of metal produced.”
The value of the ore is calculated by multiplying the contained metals and minerals per tonne in the proven and probable reserves by the ruling price for the commodities.
Canadian projects occupy six spots out of the top ten with the most valuable ore list, compiled with data provided by our sister company Miningintelligence.
Also read: Top 10 mines with world’s most valuable ore
In first place is Russia’s Polymetal — Primorskoye-Salut is a key exploration project and part of the Dukat hub, which is Russia’s largest silver deposit. Primorskoye-Salut has ore reserves valued at $2,241per tonne, for a total value of $270 million.
Denison Mines’s Wheeler River uranium project in Canada’s Saskatchewan province is in second place. Wheeler River is the largest undeveloped uranium project in the eastern part of Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin, with ore reserves valued at $2,028 per tonne, for a total value of $2.84 billion.
Third place goes to NextGen Energy’s Rook 1 uranium project Rook I, also in Saskatchewan, which includes the high-grade, basement-hosted Arrow deposit, which, according to NexGen, is the “largest development-stage uranium deposit in Canada.” Rook 1 has ore reserves valued at $1,356 per tonne for a total value of $6.2 billion.
Coming in fourth is Russia’s North Kaluga copper project, which Polymetal sold last year to North Kaluga Mining for $27 million, plus royalty. North Kalgua has ore reserves valued at $1.249 per tonne for a total value of $400 million.
In fifth place is Ivanhoe Mines/Gecamines’ Kapushi zinc project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with ore reserves valued at $1,152 per tonne for a total value of $9.89 billion. Alexo Resource Corp. takes the sixth spot for its Lucky Queen silver deposit in Canada’s Yukon territory, part of the Keno Hill Silver District project. Lucky Queen has ore reserves valued at $1,131 per tonne for a total value of $80 million.
Seventh place goes to Fission Uranium’s Patterson Lake South project Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin with ore reserves valued at $921 per tonne for a total value of $2.1 billion.
Alexo Resource Corp. takes another spot — eighth place — for its Bermigham silver project in the Keno Hills Silver District in Canada’s Yukon Territory. Bermingham has ore reserves valued at $818 per tonne for a total value of $520 million.
Gold projects round out the top ten. Terramin’s Bird-in Hand project in Australia is in ninth place, with ore reserves valued at $760 per tonne for a total value of $290 million, while Maritime Resources’ Hammerdown project in Canada’s Newfouldland and Labrador follows with ore reserves valued at $738 per tonne for a total value of $320 million.
Download more information from Miningintelligence here.