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PALM BEACH, Fla., April 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Drilling may sound dull, but for geologists and interested parties it's the ultimate treasure hunt. Cracking open the earth's crust, holds the same excitement as unwrapping a gift. It's the magical promise of the unknown and the potential to gain from the secrets held within. Today's article discusses this issue with reference to Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE: GOLD) and Valaris (NYSE: VAL).
Whether it's oil, gold, diamonds or lithium brine, the earth's natural treasures hold the key to human progress. For those involved, drilling can signify a future fortune or a challenging time ahead. And success depends on a mixture of strategy and luck.
The present situation means the West needs to secure more oil and gas reserves leading drilling to become a priority.
Just take a look at Valaris – the world's largest offshore drilling contractor. The company recently raised its profitability expectations for this financial year as it secures new contracts.
Global uncertainty is also spurring interest in gold and other precious metal commodities. Barrick Gold Corp (NYSE: GOLD) is a leader in this space operating six Tier One mines and rapidly expanding its high quality reserves.
And that's not all. The global shift to electrification is also spurring rapidly rising demand for rare earth minerals and commodities.
Arena Minerals (OTCQB: AMRZF) (TSX.V: AN) has developed a proprietary brine processing technology and de-risked business model, designed to produce more competitive battery-grade lithium products.
Its recent drill results have delighted the leadership team and make welcome news to shareholders. The company recently completed drilling of its first diamond drill hole at the Sal de la Puna project in Argentina, with CEO Will Randall stating that the results "exceeded expectations".
The results have shown that high grade lithium values and favorable geochemistry appear to exist on Arena's site. Specifically, the drill intersected a continuous brine column from 140 metres to the total drilled depth of 646 metres. The entire sampled brine column averaged 496 milligrams per litre ("mg/l") lithium ("Li").
As well as this, an uninterrupted gravel aquifer was intersected between 334 metres and 634 metres down hole, representing the thickest gravel sequence drilled in the basin. The gravel aquifer averaged 503 mg/l Li with grades as high as 557 mg/l Li at 550 metres below surface.
Arena's Executive Chairman, Eduardo Morales – who is something of a legend in this field, with more than 40 years' experience – echoed Randall's positivity.
"In addition to excellent lithium grades, we are very pleased with the brine geochemistry. The magnesium and sulphate ratios are within those currently used in our pilot facilities giving us great confidence that our objective of producing technical grade lithium chloride (6% Li) is achievable from the drilled aquifers."
Such has been the success of this venture, that Arena Minerals have also announced that two additional drilling rigs have been mobilized. One of these will be heading straight to the site of this latest successful project, where it will look to test the productive capabilities of the gravel aquifier intersected by the initial drill.
From this example, it is easy to see the satisfaction that comes from a successful drill. Success resonates through the company, making all the hard work truly worthwhile.
Just look at Valaris. The company sports a strong balance sheet and is the result of two leading offshore drillers combining their decades of experience to create an effective, high performing offshore drilling service. Today, their place as one of the premier offshore drilling companies is unmistakable.
The company recently announced a host of new contracts or contract extensions that totalled $181 million. Not only did they secure a two-year extension with BP in the Gulf of Mexico, but also a one drill extension with TotalEnergies off the coast of Brazil. This is combined with a brand-new three-year deal recently signed with Saudi Aramco.
Barrick Gold is a clear leader in the gold mining space. It The company engages deep geological understanding, engineering and commercial scoping to ensure the production outlook for each mine is significant. Therefore, the drill teams work with optimism and tangible excitement. The thrill of striking new finds makes the effort worthwhile as it can extend job security, while improving company margins and shareholder commitment.
For instance, two Tanzanian gold mines Barrick took over in 2019 were at the point of death. But Barrick's management delivered more than 500k ounces from these mines last year bringing them close to Tier One Status in the company's portfolio.
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