Jim Letourneau's Blog

Investing, Technology, Travel, Geology, Music, Golf. I think that covers it.

Hot Stuff - Black Smokers, VMS Deposits and 2 Ways to Play Them

News today that the hottest water on earth was found at a couple black smokers on the Pacific mid-ocean ridge.

Supercritical water leaches metals and other elements out of rock far more efficiently than liquid water or vapour. Gold, copper, iron, manganese, sulphur and many more are brought out of the Earth's guts when the water is ejected from the black smokers.

Progress is being made by Nautilus Minerals Inc. (NUS.TO) to mine high-grade Seafloor Massive Sulphide ("SMS") deposits of copper, zinc gold and silver. They are planning to start the world's first seafloor copper gold mine in 1,500 metres of water ~50 km off the coast of Papua New Guinea. These deposits can eventually make it to surface (given enough geologic time) where they are known as Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) deposits.

My favorite VMS exploration story is Tirex Resources Ltd. (TXX.V) which controls a large VMS district in Albania. This baby got thrown out with the junior mining stock (pick one of: summer doldrums/bear market/commodity correction) bathwater.