Developing High-Quality Jade Assets in North America
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Jade Leader Corp. (TSXV:JADE) is a mineral exploration company focused on the acquisition and exploration of early-stage jade projects in North America. Jade Leader has six projects located in Washington and Wyoming, US. as well as one jade project in British Columbia, Canada.
Jade is one of the toughest minerals in the world and holds a place of the utmost significance and importance in Chinese culture, arguably beyond that of any other gemstone or precious metal. In recent years, the market has seen a resurgence of jade sales due to the middle class’ rising numbers, economic power and interest in owning the Stone of Heaven.
There are two types of jade: nephrite and jadeite. Both are used in a variety of applications, such as statues, jewelry, vases and other works of art due to its durability and the stunning array of colors that the mineral stone can be found in. However, pinning a price on jade can be difficult as each piece is unique. Factors such as color, translucency, size and workability play a part in determining an individual pieces’ value.
Jade Leader’s flagship DJ project is located in Washington state, US. Exploration conducted on the property in 2017, outlined extensive jade-bearing zones at Lode 1 and Lode 2. Lode 1 has a strike length of over 170 meters and remains open in all directions and Lode 2 has two exposed sections occurring over a strike length of approximately 50 meters. Both targets have been drill tested to depths of up to 30 meters vertically below the surface and widespread jade intersections have been observed.
First optioned in early 2017, the DJ project is now wholly-owned by Jade Leader after the company completed prospecting, mapping, hand trenching, geophysics and mechanized sampling in 2017, in addition to a maiden drill program in 2018. Jade Leader intends to continue to expand its known targets on the property. The company is also preparing a number of jade samples for pre-marketing purposes and to gauge market interest.
The DJ project is the only drill-tested, confirmed jade asset held by a public company anywhere in the world today. With numerous nephrite jade intercepts to vertical depths of up to 30 meters and jade bearing systems remaining open in all directions, the DJ project is currently the most advanced of its strong portfolio of jade assets.
Jade Leader has now acquired five projects within the historic jade fields of Wyoming, US. Through the company’s first-pass reconnaissance exploration, Jade Leader identified several different types of jade over five areas of interest that can be quickly assessed through mechanized surface trenching, which is set to begin in September/October of 2019.
Finally, Jade Leader’s Keithly Mountain property is located in the Cariboo goldfields, British Columbia. The Cariboo goldfields are typically prospective for gold, copper and nickel, but occurrences of jade have been noted in the area. Jade Leader has identified jade mineralization on the property.
Jade Leader Corp Highlights
- Jade occurrences have been identified on all its properties.
- First pass drilling completed at DJ, outlining Jade occurrences to depths of up to 30 meters, open in all directions.
- Defining new occurrences of ethically-sourced jade for the rapidly growing market in China.
- Operating in mining-friendly and logistically favorable jurisdictions in Canada and the US.
- Jade Leader is preparing a number of jade samples from the DJ project for pre-marketing purposes and to gauge market interest.
- Jades from both the DJ and Wyoming projects have been featured at the Zi Gang Bei jade and gem carving competition in Suzhou, China at the Chenzhou gem and mineral show.
- Five targets on the Wyoming properties have been identified to date, and have now been permitted for mechanized trenching.
- Management has a unique skill set entirely suited to jade exploration.
Jade has a 7,000-year history in China and a long history of use by the imperial families. It was and is still considered a symbol of status, spirituality, purity and health, surpassing even the way in which diamonds and rubies were looked at by the monarchies in Europe, for those were a symbol of wealth. This is also evident in the similarity between the Chinese characters for emperor and jade.
Aside from its use by the imperial court and the wealthy, jade was also used as a spiritual or religious object and was seen as a symbol of virtue. It was considered to be a medium that could connect heaven and earth and could also ward off evil. It was commonly used in funeral ceremonies by the imperial court or by wealthy and influential members in Chinese society. A common practice was to bury emperors or the wealthy and influential in jade suits.
In 1912, the market took a 100-year hiatus once the Qing dynasty fell. Today, the middle class in China has sparked interest in the precious stone once again and is currently driving the jade market forward. The existing jade market in China is estimated to bring in excess of $30 billion annually and is set to continue growing.
Most recently, China has shown its respect and love for jade in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when the Chinese government used different colored jade in the medals that they presented to athletes. Additionally, various parts of China hold jade exhibitions each year and have dedicated large retail spaces for the mineral. Both the exhibitions held and the retail spaces keep growing.
Two Types of Jade
Jade can be separated into two types: nephrite and jadeite. Both types are considered to be the toughest mineral aggregates known to occur in nature and are, subsequently, carvable and enduring. Nephrite was commonly used in China before jadeite was introduced to the market. It can be used to create durable carvings, bangles, works of art and can be used as an architectural stone. Nephrite also comes in a variety of colors, such as black, white, blue and numerous shades of green.
The major producers of nephrite are Canada, Russia and China. Most of the production of jade in Canada is found in British Columbia. The prices for nephrite from Canada range between $90 and $910 per pound and between $227 and $900 per pound from Russian sources. In China, top-end “mutton fat” white nephrite has been previously sold for US$68,000 per pound.
On the other hand, Jadeite jade was first introduced in China around 1784 A.D. and was quickly adopted by the country. Jadeite also comes in a range of colors, but is known for its “imperial green” color. Myanmar controls approximately 90 percent of the world’s supply of jadeite.
Setting a Price
The price for jade is subjective and set between the buyer and seller. However, there are four factors that are taken into account when setting a price for the precious stone. Those factors are color, translucency, size and workability. First, some colors, such as green and white, have a much larger market and have been in demand for centuries. Many buyers also tend to prefer solid colors compared to those with texture.
Secondly, the transparency is taken into account as the more light the stone can absorb the more it will glow from within, making it more desirable. Thirdly, the size of the jade will affect the price. Bangles and vases are highly prized in Chinese culture and buyers will pay more for raw material whose size allows for the production of such items. Finally, if the jade lacks fractures or weakness lines, it is easier to turn the stone into something intricate.
Essentially, each piece of jade is unique and has to be evaluated on an individual basis, making it hard to set a firm price for the entire market.
Jade Leader’s DJ Project
In August 2017, Jade Leader acquired the option to earn a 100 percent interest in the 140-hectare DJ project in Washington State, US over a period of four years. The project is located on public lands and all activities, access and mineral rights are jointly managed by the National Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The property is accessible by logging roads.
In November 2018, based on results during the project’s maiden drill program, Jade Leader accelerated its option payments and acquired 100 percent of the DJ project, subject to certain underlying royalties.
Jade Leader has now outlined three Jade occurrences at the surface that contain four types of nephrite jade: ornamental, carving-grade and jewelry-grade jade, near-gem to gem-quality material and chatoyant nephrite (cat’s eye jade). Suites of samples taken from the property have been examined, classified and then cut and polished to represent the various materials Jade Leader has found on the property.
Between August and October 2017, Jade Leader completed an extensive exploration program, which included reconnaissance prospecting, detailed geological mapping, preliminary ground geophysics, trenching and mechanized sampling. Surface sampling outlined two significant jade-bearing structures known as Lode 1 and Lode 2.
Lode 1 has a strike length in excess of 170 meters at the surface and remains open in all directions. The width of the occurrence varies between 0.5 meters to over 1.5 meters in a structure that could potentially measure up to 10 meters in width. The jade found at Lode 1 is dominantly ornamental jade.
At Lode 2, hand trenching has been completed and fully-exposed at the surface in two areas that measure 11.2 meters and eight meters in length, respectively, with outcrop widths that vary between 0.2 to 0.5 meters in the southern section and widths over one meter in the northern section. To date, these two sections occur along a strike length of approximately 50 meters of a consistently jade-bearing structure. Jade types found at Lode 2 have ranged from ornamental to carving and jewelry, near gem to gem material and chatoyant jade.
The field program conducted in July and August has confirmed a new in-situ surface nephrite jade occurrence; the widest found to date on the Property. This new occurrence consists of a jade-bearing contact zone between serpentinites and white rhodingites; essentially identical to the Lode 2 target drilled in October/November 2019. Partial-to-complete metamorphism of the host rock to jade occurs over widths of up to 2.5 meters and has been traced at the surface for some 11 meters before disappearing under surface cover.
Although strong surface weathering affects the clarity of the jade in outcrop, all three of the jade types recognized in the Lode 2 target drilling have been identified in this new zone including fine-grained vein-type jade; jade exhibiting diffuse chatoyancy; and replacement jade with a mottled texture. In addition, seams of jade up to 4-5 cm in width, showing botryoidal (bubbly) textures have also been recognized cutting the zone.
In addition to having similar geology to the Lode 2 zone, this new showing is strongly linked to it by a consistently intense, sharp linear airborne geophysical signature running the 1,470 feet (450 meters) between the two showings. Follow-up field investigation of anomalies generated in similar airborne surveys on our Wyoming jade property was very successful in tracing jade-bearing structures through alluvial cover and the sharp anomalies defined here at DJ suggest geophysics may also be very effective for tracing jade-bearing structures in areas with extensive forest cover.
In parallel with its jade exploration work, the company has encountered large masses of rhodonite, a light grey-pink-yellow semi-precious gemstone. To assess its suitability for fine art carvings, a large single block weighing some 10,000 pounds was hand-harvested recently and trimmed to approximately 6,000 pounds. This block was shipped to the internationally recognized fine art stone Sculptor Georg Schmerholz for assessment and sculpting. Photos of this block can be seen on the Jade Leader website.
Jade Leader is taking the required steps to acquire a permit for a bulk sampling program on the property. The company also intends to continue extending defined targets on the property to test them properly. Jade Leader is also preparing a number of jade samples and rhodonite samples for pre-marketing purposes and to gauge market interest.
Wyoming Jade Fields Projects
In July 2018, Jade Leader staked over 1,035 acres of mineral lode claims in the historical jade fields in Wyoming. The claims covered four distinct contiguous blocks in areas with geology that are favorable for jade formation. The company staked an additional 516.5 acres in June 2019, following the results of an airborne geophysical program. The claims also host abundant nephrite jade float, sub-crop and in-situ jade occurrences and numerous small-scale historical production pits. The properties are located on public lands administered by the BLM.
In addition to the staking, Jade Leader had entered into an option agreement to acquire a 100 percent interest in an existing eight-hectare lode claim with extensive nephrite jade in exposed hand-dug pits and small trenches. In July 2019, the company exercised its early-option clause and acquired the optioned claim, consolidating ownership of all the properties to 100 percent.
Prior to acquiring the properties, Jade Leader completed an exploration program that included prospecting, mapping and mechanized sampling. They collected 62 samples including various jade types, colors and textures as well as their associated host rocks. The samples have been evaluated in order to confirm mineralogy, texture, translucency and general workability as ornamental, carving or gem material.
Jade Leader has identified medium to coarse-grained green ornamental-type jades, carving and jewelry-type snowflake jades and highly translucent near gem and gem-type jades. The company was also able to identify an area of interest from their first pass reconnaissance and mapping program, which identified an exposed jade-bearing calc-silicate alteration with a length of 130 meters and an exposed width of two to three meters to date. A second site was also identified on the property and contains a strike length of 55 meters with surface width ranging between one and 15 meters and occurs approximately 210 meters along the strike of the first zone.
Jade Leader’s 2019 exploration program identified five priority targets on its Wyoming project areas. The company intends to conduct a preliminary assessment of these targets by mechanized trenching and sampling beginning in September/October of 2019. The targets were delineated in part by an airborne geophysical survey over a 48-square-kilometer area that covered the company’s existing properties as well as some additional areas that are considered to be favorable for jade formation.
Jade has been found on all five properties to date. Jade Leader intends to move the project and various targets forward with continued surface mapping, mechanized trenching and sampling.
Keithly Mountain Project
In 2017, Jade Leader acquired by staking the 2,111-hectare Keithly Mountain property in the Cariboo goldfields in British Columbia. After completing their first-pass program, the company reduced the property to 1,485.84 hectares. The property is easily accessible by a network of logging roads and is located approximately 20 kilometers north of Likely, British Columbia.
The area the property resides in is widely known to be prospective for gold, copper and nickel. However, there have been historical showings and reports of jade in the region. The property covers approximately 6.5 kilometers of strike length in an area with metamorphosed serpentinites and sediments with significant thrust faulting, which are critical in the formation of jade.
In July 2017, Jade Leader completed its first pass reconnaissance program at Keithly. The programs were able to confirm that there were extensive areas of locally sub-cropping to outcropping serpentinized ultramafic rocks, which are typical hosts to nephrite jade deposits in British Columbia. In addition to this discovery, numerous zones of fibrous secondary riebeckite mineralization were found within the serpentinized units, which further confirmed the potential of finding nephrite jade on the property.
Jade Leader Corp Management
Jean-Pierre Jutras, B.Sc. (Hons) Geology, P. Geo. — President and Director
Jean-Pierre Jutras has 29 years of experience in the exploration industry and has worked in over 15 countries on four continents for numerous public companies including Placer Dome, Prism Resources, Golden Star Resources and Jade Leader Corp. He was the President and a Director of Tyler Resources Inc. and is currently a Director and Vice-President of Canex Metals Inc.
He was the President and a Director of Tyler Resources (TYS) from 2001 until March 2008. During that period, Tyler increased in market cap from <$1 million to $214 million when the company was purchased by Jinchuan Group Ltd. of China. Jutras was responsible for overseeing all company operations, including all exploration programs on the company’s copper-gold project in Mexico, as well as negotiating the sale of the company.
In the late 1980s, Jutras had an opportunity to take some jade samples home from a mine visit which became the beginning of a parallel avocation to his mineral exploration career now spanning almost 30 years as a student and collector of jades from all over the world, gemstone carver, faceter and metalsmith. It was this parallel path which led to his invitation to participate and compete for the first time as an International carver at the prestigious Zi Gang Bei Jade and Gemstone carving exhibition, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province in November 2016 (and 2017), where he received a silver medal for one of his competition entries.
Shari Difley, CPA, CA, B.Comm. — CFO
Shari Difley has 15 years of experience as the Chief Financial Officer of two public mineral exploration companies, Jade Leader Corp. and Canex Metals Inc. Prior to this, she worked in the assurance and taxation areas of National Chartered Accountancy firms, most recently as Senior Manager at Grant Thornton LLP. She offered assistance with financing, audit, accounting, taxation and other business needs to clients in a variety of industries.
During the last five years, she has been an independent consultant and has worked with a number of other public companies, including Tyler Resources Inc. She has extensive experience in public offerings, public company reporting, acquisitions, divestitures, governance and regulatory requirements.
Barbara O’Neill — Corporate Secretary
Barbara O’Neill has worked for a number of TSX and TSX Venture corporations primarily in the mining industry, both nationally and internationally, for the last 25 years. She has extensive experience in public offerings, public listings and exchange matters, share and asset acquisitions and dispositions, restructurings, securities regulatory requirements for public issuers and other related business transactions. She is currently Corporate Secretary of Jade Leader Corp. and Canex Metals Inc., CanadaBis Capital Inc. and was previously the Corporate Secretary of CDG Investments Inc. and Tyler Resources Inc.
Dr. Peter K.M. Megaw — Director and Technical Advisor
Dr. Peter K.M. Megaw, is a consulting geologist, President of IMDEX/Cascabel and co-founder of Minera Cascabel and MAG Silver. He is well-known as a metals exploration geologist and received the PDAC’s 2017 Thayer Lindsley Award for discovery of the silver-rich Juanicipio Vein system in Fresnillo, Mexico. He is also a passionate mineral collector with strong relationships throughout the international mineral and gem community.
From 2013 to 2015 he was an invited guest at the first three Hunan, China Mineral Shows where he developed an appreciation for the importance of jade in the international gem markets and an interest in the geological aspects of jade formation and exploration. Dr. Megaw is currently Chief Exploration Officer for MAG Silver Corp, a Director of Minaurum Gold Inc. and a Technical Advisor to Garibaldi Resources Corp and Barksdale Capital Corp.
Dr. Shane Ebert, P.Geo. — Director
Dr. Shane Ebert has 25 years of gold, copper and base metal exploration experience in North America, South America, Australia and Europe. He was involved in the discovery of a large copper deposit in Mexico, a gold deposit in eastern Canada, and a copper-gold porphyry on the Ootsa property. He has extensive experience managing junior exploration companies and is a registered professional geoscientist with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia. Currently, he is the President, CEO and Director of Surge Copper Corp. and CANEX Metals Inc.
Cornell McDowell, P.Geo. — Director
Cornell McDowell is a professional geologist in both Alberta and British Columbia. He is the Vice President of Exploration for Aben Resources Ltd. He has been self-employed as a geological consultant since graduating with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta in 2005. He has worked with both privately held and publicly listed mineral exploration corporations in multiple jurisdictions. Most recently, he has worked with Gold Reach Resources on the Ootsa Project, where over 100,000 meters of drilling has advanced the project from the initial stages through resource development and to the delivery of a positive PEA.
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