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Wallbridge Mining Company Ltd. (TSX:WM, FWB:WC7) is focused on the acquisition, discovery, development, and production of gold, and copper, nickel, and platinum group metals (PGMs). The company is working to establish a portfolio of projects to support sustainable production and free cash flow as well as organic growth through exploration and scalability.
Wallbridge is in discussions regarding several advanced stage projects which could become the company’s next production platforms. These discussions benefit from the operating capabilities Wallbridge demonstrated by safely and efficiently mining the Broken Hammer deposit, which was completed in October, 2015.
One of those advanced discussions resulted in the October 2016 purchase of the Fenelon Gold Mine Property, a high-grade development project along the Detour/Sunday Lake trend in Quebec’s Abitibi gold belt. A prefeasibility study is expected by the end of 2016, with a production decision target by the second quarter of 2017. Wallbridge recently began exploration work at Fenelon, sampling 89.30 g/t gold.
Year two of an $11-million partner-funded exploration project is currently underway at Wallbridge’s Parkin Properties, an advanced-stage nickel, copper and platinum group metal exploration project in Sudbury, Ontario, with 20,000-meter drilling started in October 2016.
Wallbridge has further exposure to active exploration for copper and gold in Jamaica and British Columbia through its 15.5-percent ownership of Carube Copper Corp.
“We are working to create a pipeline of projects that will add depth to the properties we currently hold, and allow us to become a sustainable and growing producer,” said Wallbridge President and CEO Marz Kord.
As of November 2016, the company has approximately $1.4 million in working capital, and $3.958 million in joint-venture partner funding commitments.
- Actively pursuing advanced exploration and development stage gold and base metals opportunities in Ontario and Quebec.
- 100-percent interest in the Fenelon Gold Mine Property in Quebec, which has a measured and indicated mineral resource of 91,100 tonnes at 12.97 grams per tonne gold identified near existing mine workings at shallow depths.
- Major copper-platinum group metals, nickel land position in Sudbury, Ontario.
- Drilling commenced on Sudbury, Ontario Parkin Properties in October 2016.
- Experienced team of geologists and mining professionals.
- Track record of value creation:
- two past successful spin-out companies (Duluth Metals & Miocene Metals);
- continuous and ongoing partner-funded exploration since 2002; and
- successful discovery, development, operation and closure of its Broken Hammer open pit.
- Ongoing evaluation of value-accretive acquisition opportunities in Ontario and Quebec.
- Equity holdings (15.5 percent ownership) in Carube Copper Corp (formerly Miocene Metals).
Quebec’s Next Gold Producer: Fenelon Gold Mine Project
Wallbridge holds a 100-percent interest in the 1,052-hectare Fenelon Gold Mine Property. Fenelon is located adjacent to the Sunday Lake Break in northwestern Quebec about 75 kilometers northwest of the town of Matagami. Wallbridge purchased the property for $3.7 million from Balmoral Resources Ltd. in October 2016 as part of its corporate strategy to acquire undervalued assets with near-term production and growth potential.
A measured and indicated mineral (M&I) resource of 91,100 tonnes at 12.97 grams per tonne gold has been identified near existing mine workings at shallow depths. The bulk of the resource is located in the first 150 meters from surface and has significant potential to grow.
Exploration and permitting is currently underway and a prefeasibility study is expected to be complete by the end of 2016. A production decision is slated for the second quarter of 2017.
Phase 1 exploration results
The first phase of an exploration program recently launched on the property involved reviewing historic drilling in close proximity to the mine workings and additional sampling of previously unsampled historic drill core. Results from the first two batches include a sample containing visible gold assayed 89.3 g/t over 0.35 meters. At total of 176 samples were collected, representing 179 meters of historic drill core which had previously not been sampled. Of these samples, 25 returned values of greater than 0.5 gram per tonne.
“We are extremely pleased that the early results of our exploration program are starting to confirm our internal assessment upon which we based our acquisition decision, namely that there is considerable upside potential at Fenelon to add ounces in close proximity to the mine workings,” said Kord. “To date, our sampling of historic drill core has returned an exceptional hit ratio with one in seven samples from drill core which was previously assumed to be unmineralized containing greater than 0.5 grams of gold. In light of these early results, which have greatly exceeded our expectations, we are evaluating the need to increase the scope of our infill sampling program.”
Evaluating potential to expand mineral resource
Wallbridge is examining opportunities to expand the current mineral resource near the existing underground infrastructure with re-sampling of old core and drilling to follow-up high-grade gold intersections and mineralized zones that are not included in the current resource. The company is also looking at extending the mineralization to depth by drilling down-plunge of the current resource, which only extends to 100 meters depth, and following up deeper mineralized intersections.
Wallbrige is also anticipating discovery of new near-surface gold mineralization by drilling geophysical targets and following-up mineralized intersections identified along strike on the property, which is open for several kilometers on either side of the current resource. The results of the current program will be followed up by drill testing of the targets with priority given to those in close proximity to the mine workings.
Parkin Properties, Sudbury, Ontario
The Parkin Properties (Parkin, Milnet, Parkin CBA and Parkin East) are located in Sudbury, Ontario where Wallbridge is exploring for high-grade polymetallic nickel, copper and platinum group metals over a 9.4-kilometer strike length of the underexplored Parkin Offset dyke. Such mineralization is typical of the Sudbury mining camp region and is exemplified by Vale’s North and South mines (Copper Cliff Offset dyke), as well as Vale’s Totten Mine and KGHM’s Victoria project (Worthington Offset dyke). The four Parkin properties include the past-producing Milnet mine, the high-grade Milnet 1,500 zone discovered in 2009, and a historic near-surface resource.
Previous Drill Results
Drill results from the 2009 to 2014 exploration programs targeting the Milnet 1,500 zone beneath the past-producing Milnet Mine include:
- Drill hole WMM-015-W2: 8.0 meters of 0.60 percent copper, 4.11 percent nickel, 1.40 g/t platinum, 2.68 g/t palladium, and 0.23 g/t gold from 1473.00 to 1481.00 meters downhole; and
- Drill hole WMM-018-W3: 12.85 meters of 0.73 percent copper, 0.33 percent nickel, 0.63 g/t platinum, 0.94 g/t palladium, and 0.28 g/t gold from 1665.80 to 1678.65 meters downhole.
Exploration work completed in 2015 included drilling below the historic near-surface resource as well as mechanical stripping at the surface in order to further understand the resource and the potential for expansion. Highlights from this work include:
- Discovery of six mineralized zones consisting of massive, semi-massive, and net textured sulfide mineralization exposed at surface, distributed over a total strike length of 700 meters;
- Drill hole WMP-141: 11.60 meters of 0.61 percent copper, 0.81 percent nickel, 0.49 g/t platinum, 0.49 g/t palladium, and 0.12 g/t gold from 464.50 to 476.10 meters downhole including 2.25 meters of 0.96 percent copper, 1.16 percent nickel, 1.51 g/t platinum, 0.66 g/t palladium, and 2.41 g/t gold.
2016 Exploration Program
Wallbridge commenced drilling on its Parkin Properties in October 2016, as part of the $3.958 million 2017 joint venture programs funded by partner Lonmin Plc in Sudbury. Approximately 20,000 meters of drilling is planned at Parkin to follow-up high-grade nickel, copper, and platinum group metal mineralization intersected in the spring of 2016.
“This past year’s program at Parkin was very successful. Our team completed 11,030 meters of drilling, tripled the extent of known near-surface mineralization, and found several new areas with considerably greater thicknesses than previously known,” said Joshua Bailey, Wallbridge’s Vice-President of Exploration. “We are very excited to be drilling again with this larger program and look forward to further expanding these zones as well as testing a number of new targets that we have developed on the property.”
The 2017 programs include up to $200,000 in rebates expected to be received in 2017 from the Junior Exploration Assistance Program (“JEAP”) sponsored by the Ontario Prospectors Association and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.
Joint-Venture Properties in Sudbury Mining Camp
Wallbridge’s large package of properties in Sudbury also includes other significant projects being explored for copper, nickel and platinum group metals under joint ventures funded by partners Lonmin Plc, Glencore and Vale.
The North Range JV with Lonmin includes 15 projects such as the Wisner Properties which contain several high-grade copper-PGM occurrences and multiple targets within a 10-kilometer-long belt surrounding Broken Hammer and adjacent to several polymetallic deposits owned by Vale and Glencore. The Sudbury Camp JV with Lonmin includes nine projects, which are adjacent to active mining areas in Sudbury.
The East Range Properties are located in the footwall to Vale’s Victor-Capre projects, Glencore’s Nickel Rim South mine and KGHM International’s Podolsky mine. East Range includes Wallbridge’s wholly-owned Drill Lake and Victor East properties. The properties also include the Frost Lake JV with Glencore in which Wallbridge holds a 62 percent interest and the Capreol JV with Vale and Glencore in which Wallbridge holds a 50 percent interest.
Building Shareholder Value in Equity Investments
Wallbridge is the largest shareholder (15.5 percent) in Carube Copper, which was formed following the reverse takeover of Wallbridge’s spin-out company Miocene Resources completed in June 2015.
Carube Copper has four copper-gold projects covering 260 km2 of the most prospective porphyry copper geology in Jamaica. Two of the projects have been joint ventured to OZ Minerals, a mid-sized ($1 billion market capitalized) Australian copper-gold producer. Carube Copper is also actively exploring two of its three copper-gold-molybdenum properties in southwestern BC.
Production Success: Broken Hammer
The Broken Hammer polymetallic open-pit mine is located on the Northern Range of the Sudbury mining camp. The copper-platinum-palladium-gold deposit at Broken Hammer was discovered following grassroots exploration.
Broken Hammer reached commercial production in August 2014 with an 800 tpd operation. At the time of production Wallbridge held a 98.5 percent interest in the project while Glencore held a 1.5 percent carried royalty interest. Operations at Broken Hammer were completed in late October 2015.
Total production at Broken Hammer included 10,200 tonnes of copper flotation concentrate (24 percent copper, 60 g/t platinum, palladium and gold) and 180 tonnes of high grade PGM gravity concentrate (3 percent copper and 2,000 g/t platinum, palladium and gold). The project was financially successful despite low metals prices, with an estimated return of $2 million to $3 million.
Wallbridge also gained a wealth of experience from its successful operation of the Broken Hammer mine. The company intends to use this experience to develop and operate other undervalued projects it is working towards acquiring.
Alar Soever – Executive Chairman and Director
Alar Soever is a geologist with over 35 years of experience in the mineral exploration industry, both in Canada and overseas. He was the President of Wallbridge from 2003 to 2011, and prior to that was involved with Wallbridge in a consulting capacity as head of Watts, Griffis, and McOuat’s copper-nickel-PGE practice. Soever has been instrumental in the growth of Wallbridge, including the spin-out of two new companies Duluth Metals Limited and Miocene Metals Limited.
Marz Kord, P.Eng., MSc, MBA – President, CEO and Director
Marz Kord is a mining engineer with over 30 years of experience in the mining industry, spanning a career over which he has held progressively more responsible roles in both operations and management. During the early part of his career with Falconbridge, Kord was involved in mining operations in both Sudbury and Timmins. Most recently, he was Executive Vice-President, Global Mining for a large Canadian firm. Kord’s expertise includes managing large multidisciplinary teams of engineers and operators as well as extensive experience in developing business growth plans and in mergers and acquisitions. He is also a Director of Carube Copper Resources.
Warren Holmes, B.Sc., P.Eng., MBA – Lead Director
Warren Holmes is a mining engineer (P. Eng), and holds an MBA. He is the Chairman and Director of HudBay Minerals Inc, Lead Director of Foraco International SA, and a Director of Atlanta Gold Inc. Holmes was previously with Noranda Inc (1964-1986), and Falconbridge Limited (1986-2002) latterly as Senior Vice-President of Canadian Mining Operations. He has also been the President of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy, and Petroleum, Chairman of the Ontario Mining Association, and Co-Chair of the Ontario Mineral Industry Cluster Council.
René Galipeau – Director
René Galipeau, CGA, is the current Director and Chairman of Nuinsco Resources Limited. He has been a Director of Nuinsco since 1993. Galipeau is also a Director, Vice-Chairman and CEO of Victory Nickel. A seasoned mining executive with 34 years’ experience, he has held senior positions with a number of gold and base metal mining companies in Canada and the United States, such as Executive Vice-President and CFO for Breakwater Resources Ltd. Galipeau is also a director of several public and private companies.
Darryl Sittler – Director
A former National Hockey League player and a 1989 inductee to the Hockey Hall of Fame, Darryl Sittler is a self-employed businessman and is currently a consultant to the Toronto Maple Leaf Hockey Club in areas of community relations and marketing. He is a Director of Frontline Gold Corporation and also a Director of Margaret Lake Diamonds Inc.
Parviz Farsangi – Director
Parviz Farsangi has an extensive operations background and knowledge of the nickel industry, with a history of employee and community engagement. Most recently, Farsangi was CEO of Scorpio Mining Corporation. He is a currently the CEO of Canadian Royalties and director of INV Metals Inc. Earlier he was Executive Vice-President and COO of Vale Inco Ltd. where he led the operations of Vale Inco’s wholly-owned subsidiaries. Prior to joining Vale Inco, Farsangi had a long career with Falconbridge Ltd. Subsequently he was President, Gramercy Alumina in Louisiana and St. Ann Bauxite in Jamaica for Falconbridge. Farsangi earned a Ph.D. in Mining Engineering from McGill in 1996 as well as an MBA from Queen’s University Business School in 1998. He is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario, the Canadian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy, and the Transition Board of Canadian Mining Innovation Council.
Roland Horst – Director
Roland Horst has 35 years of mining industry experience as a CEO, investment banker, corporate banker and geologist, including 13 years as a CEO of both public and private companies involved in mining production, development and exploration in Canada, Brazil, Indonesia and Chile. Horst was CEO and director of CBay Minerals and director of Victory Nickel. He was President and CEO of Royal Nickel Corporation. Before founding Royal Nickel, Horst was President and CEO of International Nickel Ventures Corporation, Vice-President, Business Development for FNX Mining and President of Aurora Platinum Corporation. He has extensive experience in investment banking having held positions as head of the Mining Group at Nesbitt Thomson, Head of Mining Group at Richardson Greenshields, and as a mining corporate banker with the Bank of Montreal. He holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business Administration, University of Western Ontario, a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from the University of Western Ontario, a M.Sc. in Geology from Laurentian University and a B.Sc. in Geology from McGill University.
Elaine Ellingham – Director
Elaine Ellingham is a professional geoscientist with over 25 years of experience in the mining industry. She is President of Ellingham Consulting Ltd., providing geological and corporate advisory services to international clients. Ellingham worked with the Toronto Stock Exchange, from 1997 to 2005, in a number of capacities including National Leader of Mining, serving on the TSX Stock List Committee, and leading the TSX international business development initiatives. Ellingham was Senior VP, Investor Relations for IAMGOLD Corporation and has a range of experience in mineral exploration, corporate development and investor relations for mining companies including Campbell Resources Inc., Rio Algom Exploration Inc., and St. Joe Canada Inc. Ellingham is currently a director of Richmont Mines Inc., Aurania Resources Ltd. and Williams Creek Gold Limited. She has an MSc. in geology and MBA, both from the University of Toronto.
Mary Montgomery, CPA, CA – Chief Financial Officer
Mary Montgomery is a graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University with an Honors Bachelor of Business Administration degree and a member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario. Montgomery was formerly the Director of Finance for the Sudbury YMCA. Prior to that she held senior positions with a number of companies associated with the mining industry in Sudbury.
Joshua Bailey, M.Sc., P.Geo. – Vice-President Exploration
Joshua Bailey is a professional geoscientist with over 15 years of experience and has worked in successive roles with Wallbridge since 2004. He holds an Executive MBA and a MSc. degree in geology. Bailey also serves as President of the Ontario Prospectors Association and is past President of the Sudbury Prospectors and Developers Association.