Mineral exploration is an expensive prospect, and as new deposits become deeper, fewer and farther between, it will only grow costlier. Yet mining companies cannot afford to slow down — demand for critical minerals such as copper and antimony are quickly ballooning beyond our global production capacity.
Leadership, therefore, has two options. They can play it safe and exclusively pursue known quantities and pre-existing mines in the hopes that it will be enough. Alternatively, they can direct their investments towards unexplored and underexplored regions in favorable orogenic settings.
Jaxon Mining (TSXV:JAX
, FSE:0U31, OTC:JXMNF) went with the second option when it purchased the Hazelton Property. Comprising 74 contiguous mineral claims across an area totaling 730 square kilometers, the property is situated 57 kilometers north of Smithers, in British Columbia's prospective yet underexplored Omenica Mining Division. Hazelton contains a total of seven porphyries, three of which constitute the company's main focus in 2023: Netalzul Mountain, Kispiox Mountain and Red Springs.
Netalzul is a polymetallic epithermal-porphyry system topped by one of the largest and strongest copper, molybdenum and zinc anomalies ever observed in British Columbia. Kispiox Mountain, meanwhile, is home to arguably North America’s and one the world's highest-grade antimony deposits. Similarly, Red Springs contains one of the largest occurrences of mineralized quartz-tourmaline breccia zones and pipes ever discovered in North America.
The company's leadership team includes some of the world's leading experts in mineral exploration and development. John King Burns, CEO, and Dr. Tony Guo, the company's president and chief geologist, respectively, are particularly noteworthy.
Burns is a veteran in the mining finance sector, having managed risk and financed projects at every stage of development all around the world. Guo, meanwhile, combines extensive business expertise with a doctorate degree in geology and is a master explorationist. Between them, they've more than five decades of experience working with both major producers and junior exploration companies.
Jaxon has leveraged the technical discipline and experience of these individuals and the rest of the company’s management team very effectively, while also keeping operations relatively lean. In addition to comprehensive structural and surface mapping and modeling, the company has applied geophysics, geochemistry and extensive sampling to its exploration and discovery efforts. This model- and data-driven approach has more than borne fruit, allowing the company to uncover multiple promising deposits with minimal drilling required.
In addition to highly promising geology, Jaxon’s project locations allow the company to take full advantage of the Canadian government's critical minerals exploration incentives, including the British Columbia Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (BCMETC) and the Federal Critical Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (CMETC).
The BCMETC provides credit equal to 20 percent of qualified mining exploration expenses
, with an enhanced rate of 30 percent for operations undertaken in mountain-pine-beetle-affected areas. The CMETC, meanwhile, is a recently introduced 30 percent investment tax credit applicable to eligible flow-through share agreements. It applies to 15 critical minerals, including copper and zinc — making Jaxon eligible to raise funds under the new requirements.
- Jaxon Mining is a junior mining company operating primarily in northwest British Columbia and helmed by industry veterans with decades of expertise.
- Jaxon is currently pursuing discoveries in its 100-percent-owned Hazelton land package, which has the potential to provide the company with a major district-scale play.
- Divided into seven owned and connected target areas, Hazelton exists in a comprehensive mining service center with close proximity to a major highway and railroad, energy infrastructure and an airport.
- Copper, antimony, molybdenum, silver and zinc represent the Hazelton Property's primary mineral resources. There is also the potential for significant reserves of gold, lead and tungsten.
- Jaxon expects a copper equivalent grade of 0.7 percent from its projects, significantly higher than the province's average.
- Porphyries in Hazelton are primarily situated above sea level and should be amenable to advanced underground mining techniques.
- In February 2023, the company received $741,890.96 in mineral exploration tax credit from the BC Provincial Government.
As the first of Jaxon's drill-ready and drill-permitted projects, Netalzul Mountain consists of 22 contiguous claims totaling 136.42 square kilometers. The primary deposit is a copper-molybdenum-silver-gold-zinc-lead-antimony sulfide QV epithermal-porphyry mineralization system with exceptionally high-grade silver in the high sulfidation epithermal quartz veins. Although this deposit has been the subject of considerable artisanal mining activity, it's also historically underexplored — Jaxon is the first to drill test the area.
Consolidated in 2020, Netalzul's most notable characteristic is the unusual strength of its magnetic anomalies. Situated along the Skeena Arch in the Canadian Cordillera's central Intermontane Belt, Netalzul contains the strongest geochemical and geophysical anomalies in copper porphyries discovered in BC to date. According to Jaxon, the deposit's mineralization is analogous to SolGold's highly successful Ecuadorian Alpala Porphyry.
- Exceptional Anomalies: According to a review of Jaxon's 3DIP chargeability and 3DMT data, high MT conductivity can be found at depths of up to 1,000 meters along with annular high chargeability anomalies and multiple discrete and variably linear magnetic low anomalies. These anomalies are all focused around a 10-square-kilometer Late Cretaceous granodiorite intrusion in the project's center area.
- Compelling Historical Data: High-grade polymetallic rock samples reported in 2010 include silver grades of over 100 grams per ton (g/t) and copper, zinc and lead contents all above one percent.
- Promising Geology: Jaxon has collaborated extensively with organizations such as Fathom Geophysics to construct a model of the zone that includes geochemical data, magnetic data, geophysical data and sample data. Highlights include:
- Large granodiorite and monzonite dyke swarms both topped and surrounded by hornfels.
- Underlying hornfel sedimentary rock from the Bowser Lake Group and granodiorites from the Bulkley Intrusive.
- Non-magnetic monzonite dykes generated by the deeper porphyry system outcrop in the magnetic low area.
- Close fractured zones and shear zones with high-grade quartz and sulfide veins distributed throughout the intrusive, with shears and dykes trending northeast and dipping southeast.
- High-grade, Near-surface Propylitic Zones: At present, Netalzul consists of four epithermal zones with high silver, gold, copper, molybdenum, lead, antimony and zinc content. Grab and channel samples from these zones are encouraging, and some of the highest results include:
- Silver at up to 5,301 g/t.
- Gold at up to 5.9 g/t
- Up to 37.85 percent zinc.
- Up to 29.18 percent lead.
- Up to 3.45 percent copper with soil anomaly contents of over 10,000 parts per million (ppm).
- Non-negligible amounts of antimony and molybdenum.
Kispiox, Jaxon’s portable-drill-ready target, houses what is potentially one of the largest and highest-grade antimony deposits in North America. As with Netalzul, Kispiox has historically seen limited exploration, likely due at least in part to its somewhat challenging geography. The project is characterized by broad wooded valleys which separate isolated mountain peaks with rugged cliffs and steep slopes.
Even so, Jaxon's field geologists in 2021 conducted geophysical and geochemical surveys on accessible parts of the property. They collected a total of 54 rock samples — 33 mineralized samples and 21 geochemistry samples, which were sent to MSALABS in Langley, BC for analysis.
This sampling program allowed Jaxon to identify three high-grade antimony massive to disseminated sulfide quartz mineralization outcrops. Jaxon followed up its rock sampling program with a soil sampling program, collecting, and examining a total of 11 samples with a handheld XRF analyzer. This confirmed high antimony content in the soil — up to 736 ppm.
- Underlying Geology: Sedimentary strata from the Bowser Lake Group and Kitsuns Creek Formation of the Skeena Group can be found beneath Kispiox with multiple porphyritic intrusions from the Bulkley Plutonic Suite.
- Strong Evidence of Promising Mineralization: Studying the quartz sulfide veins, geologists observed significant stibnite along with trace amounts of fine-grained chalcopyrite and molybdenum. Pyrite is common both on the quartz veins and as fracture coating in the hornfels. This suggests the presence of a porphyry-epithermal antimony-copper-molybdenum system.
- High-grade Antimony: One high-grade rock outcrop sample collected from within an 8 to 10-meter-wide sulfide quartz veining mineralization zone showed up to 29.69 percent antimony. There is also evidence to suggest that oxidation and weathering of stibnite minerals on the surface may have reduced the grade of this sample's antimony.
- Promising Sample Results: Highlights from Jaxon's collected rock and soil samples include:
- Over 1,000 ppm antimony in 11 samples, of which one outcrop rock sample contains over 29 percent antimony, and one two-meter chipping sample contains over 6 percent antimony.
- Greater than one percent antimony in four samples.
- Seven samples with over 500 ppm copper, including three with greater than 1,000 ppm.
- Three samples with over 100 ppm molybdenum.
- Trace amounts of galena and sphalerite in collected granodiorite intrusive rocks, with one sample returning 1,047 ppm lead and 2,003 ppm zinc.
- Soil samples contained significant antimony, copper and molybdenum.
Drill-ready and fully drill-permitted, Red Springs is an active, copper-rich porphyry system with multiple, large-scale porphyries and extensive mineralized, gold-bearing quartz-tourmaline breccia zones and pipes. The system can broadly be divided into two distinct mineralized zones.
The first is an extensive thrust fault that hosts high-grade gold-bearing tourmaline breccia with cobalt, copper, antimony and bismuth credits, a first-of-its-kind discovery in British Columbia. The second is a large copper-molybdenum porphyry mineralization.
Jaxon has carried out extensive work in Red Springs, including 1,050 meters of diamond drilling, a seven-line 31-kilometer-line survey, 16 priority IP anomalies, a magnetic survey, a soil chemistry survey and a LIDAR topographical survey. It has also collected roughly 1,200 rock samples and mapped approximately 30 square kilometers of the project.
The company is currently planning a drill test for the project's primary ridge porphyry target, set to happen sometime in 2023.
- Promising Geology: Red Springs is marked by three Late Cretaceous K-feldspar disseminated sulfide granodiorite porphyry outcrops.
- High-grade Mineralization: Red Springs' mineralization areas both have high-grade copper and molybdenum in their soil anomalies and breccia zones/pipes containing high-grade gold-copper-cobalt. The zone also hosts high-grade massive sulfide and sulfosalt silver-antimony-gold-copper.
- Drilling Results: Assay results from Jaxon's diamond drilling program returned up to 8.2 g/t gold equivalent with 6.6 g/t gold, 0.1 percent cobalt and 0.04 percent bismuth.
Blunt Mountain is a high-grade sulfide quartz-vein epithermal porphyry system with a high-grade gold-silver-antimony-zinc-lead. The area's primary deposit takes the form of a four-kilometer-long mineralization corridor with multiple high-grade veins as well as indications of molybdenum and copper.
Max/Knoll is a promising silver project that displays many of the same characteristics as the nearby Equity Mine, once Canada's most profitable silver mine.
Rocher Deboule Mountain
Situated within the Rocher Deboule stock, the Rocher Deboule Mountain project covers roughly 13.3 square kilometers. It contains recorded three mineral occurrences — copper-silver, molybdenum-copper and tungsten-gold. In March 2023, Jaxon acquired four new mineral tenures to expand the project.
Another relatively recent claim alongside Rocher Deboule, Mount Thoen is a porphyry-driven polymetallic copper-molybdenum target.
John King Burns - Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
John Burns has extensive experience in managing risk and financing resource projects in the exploration, development and production stages both in the Americas and across the globe. Previously, Burns served as a non-executive independent director of China Gold International Resources (TSX, HKEX), the affiliate of China National Gold Group. He also previously served as chairman of Athabasca Potash (TSXV), as chairman of Dolly Varden Silver (TSXV), as a director of Corazon Gold (TSXV), as chairman of Titan Goldworx Resources (CNSX) and as chairman of Northern Orion Explorations (TSX).
Burns is former vice-president and chief financial officer of the Drexel Burnham Lambert Commodity Group in New York, London and Chicago; former managing director and global head of the Derivative Trading and Finance Group of Barclays Metals Group, Barclays Bank PLC in London and former managing director of Frontier Risk Management LLC, a grains-and-livestock-focused CTA in Chicago. He serves as lead director and an audit committee member for a number of private venture-focused companies.
Yingting (Tony) Guo - Director, President and Chief Geologist
Yingting (Tony) Guo has over 30 years’ experience in the mining industry working on mineral exploration and development projects/mines, mainly in Asia and North America. Guo’s business expertise includes mineral resource exploration, estimation, development, assessment, acquisition and project management. He has participated and managed several mineral exploration projects internationally and has been directly involved in the discovery of two large gold deposits (MOz Plus) for the last 20 years.
His credentials include a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from Nanjing University as well as a Doctoral Degree in Geology and Exploration from China University of Mining and Technology. He is a registered Professional Geoscientist from the Province of British Columbia, Canada and QP Committee member of Mining and Metallurgical Society of America. As a Senior Geologist or a Senior Management Officer, Guo has worked in mining companies to consulting firms such as SW Tech Corporation, Jinshan Gold Mines, China Gold International and Behre Dolbear Group, Guo is the founder and chairman of the Association of Chinese Canadian Mining Professionals in Canada. He also serves as chairman of C2 Mining International Corporation and Transcontinental Gold Corporation.
Brian Crawford - Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Secretary
Brian Crawford holds a B. Com. from the University of Toronto and has extensive experience as a senior financial executive with public and private companies. He has also served as a partner in a national firm of chartered professional accountants. Crawford founded and co-founded several companies currently listed on the TSXV and the CSE.
He currently serves as a director, corporate secretary, and CFO of several TSX Venture Exchange or Canadian Securities Exchange listed companies including Silver Bullet Mines Corp., Searchlight Resources Inc., CBLT Inc. and Tempus Capital Inc.
James Lavigne - Director and Technical Advisor
James Lavigne has been a director of Jaxon Mining since November 2008. Lavigne has over 25 years’ experience in all phases of mineral exploration and development, predominantly in base and precious metal deposits. He has held senior technical positions with major Canadian and Australian mining companies and has been involved in technical and management roles with several junior exploration companies.
Lavigne is currently a consulting geologist specializing in advanced exploration and resource delineation and estimation. He holds a B.Sc. (Geology) from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a M.Sc. (Geology) from the University of Ottawa. He is licensed as a professional geologist by the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists.
Laurence Stephenson - Director
Laurence Stephenson has been a director of Jaxon Mining since November 2008. He has over 40 years’ experience in the field of mineral exploration and in guiding new companies in the acquisition and utilization of capital. He was instrumental in starting Glencairn Exploration Ltd., a listed company and its subsidiary Wheaton River Minerals Ltd. (formerly listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange before its plan of arrangement with Goldcorp Inc.).
Stephenson received his B.Sc. from Carleton University and his MBA from York University. He is a member of the Professional Engineers of Ontario and the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia.
Melinda Hsu - Director
Melinda Hsu has over 30 years of diversified experience in areas of accounting, finance, corporate development and administration. She has held senior management positions with various mining and oil & gas companies with both Canadian and international operations and has served as CFO and corporate secretary for various TSX and TSX Venture-listed companies.
Hsu is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of British Columbia and Ontario and has a Master of Arts in Commerce from Renmin University of China.
Gregory Hall - Technical Advisor
Greg Hall is a geological consultant of Golden Phoenix International Pty Ltd and was chief geologist for Placer Dome Group from 2000 to 2006. He managed exploration in Western Australia for Placer Dome from 1988 to 2000 and CSR Limited from 1984 to 1988. The discovery of Rio Tinto's Yandi iron ore mine and Gold Fields's Granny Smith gold mine in WA are highlights in his career.
Hall graduated from the University of New South Wales in 1973 with a Bachelor of Applied Science.
Russell Mason - Technical Advisor
Russell Mason is a structural geology consultant employed by Tectonite Geology. He has worked primarily as a consultant both independently (2003-present) and for a consulting firm (Fractal Graphics 1996 - 2003) with a period working as a research scientist for CSIRO (1994 -1996) and minor exploration roles and contract mapping projects (1984 - 1990). Mason's work is field-based structural geology and is most commonly applied to gold and copper exploration and mining. Russell graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Science (1st class honors) and completed a PhD from Imperial College, London University in 1994.
Wenhong (Wilson) Jin - Technical Advisor
Wilson Jin has three decades of field exploration, acquisitions, financing and investment experience for precious and non-ferrous metals in Asia, Africa and in North America. He has served as Chief Geologist, VP of Acquisitions and President and CEO of Huakan International Mining Inc.
Based in Vancouver since 2010, Jin led a successful exploration of the J&L Gold polymetallic deposit in BC. He also discovered a medium-sized gold deposit and made significant achievements in the exploration of adjacent claims of Jinduicheng molybdenum porphyry deposit in Shaanxi province, China. Jin is CEO and President of Transcontinental Gold Corp., CEO and president of Wildsky Resources and serves as an independent director to two other publicly listed companies.