Nickelex Signs Definitive Agreement to Option in on Four Projects in the Thompson Nickel Belt, Manitoba
Nickelex Resource Corporation (TSXV: NICK) ("Nickelex" or the "Company") reports that it has signed a definitive agreement with CanAlaska Uranium Ltd. ("CanAlaska") on October 13, 2023, to earn up to an 80% interest in four projects, consisting of the Strong, Strong Extension, Moak North and Wilson Mineral Exploration Licenses in the Thompson Nickel Belt ("TNB"), Manitoba (the "Projects"). (See Figure 1)
The definitive agreement provides that Nickelex may earn:
- a 49% interest in the Projects by making a cash payment of $35,000, issuing 5,000,000 common shares in the capital of the Company ("Shares") and incurring exploration expenditures of $2,000,000 over the first 2 years;
- an increased interest to 70% by making an additional cash payment of $50,000, issuing 7,500,000 additional Shares and incurring additional exploration expenditures of $3,500,000 by the end of the third year; and
- an increased interest to 80% by making an additional cash payment of $65,000, issuing 25,000,000 additional Shares and incurring additional exploration expenditures of $3,500,000 by the end of the fifth year. In the event any Share issuance would cause CanAlaska to become a new "Control Person" (as such term is defined in TSXV policies), then Nickelex will be required to obtain shareholder approval to same before issuing such Shares in accordance with TSXV policies. If shareholder approval is not received, Nickelex may then pay the outstanding obligation in cash in lieu of Shares based on the fair market value of the Shares at the time of payment.
The Company will also pay CanAlaska $3,000,000 after completing a positive feasibility study on the Projects (such payment may be satisfied in Shares at Nickelex's sole discretion, subject to shareholder approval in the event such issuance would cause CanAlaska to become a new Control Person).
This arm's length transaction is considered a Fundamental Acquisition under the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange. The definitive agreement is subject to TSX Venture Exchange approval.
During the 49% and 70% earn-in stages, CanAlaska will be the operator of the Projects and will be entitled to charge an operator fee. Nickelex will have deciding voting rights on annual exploration programs while sole funding at the various option stages and will have the right to assume operatorship after successfully earning a 70% interest in the Projects.
After the successful completion of the last of the 49%, 70% and 80% earn-in stages, the parties will enter into a joint venture agreement, under which the parties will either co-contribute on a simple pro-rata basis or dilute on a pre-defined straight-line dilution formula. Any party diluting to a 10% interest will automatically forfeit its interest in the Projects and in lieu thereof will be granted a 2% net smelter return royalty on the Projects, half of which may be purchased by the other party at its sole discretion for $2,000,000 at any time prior to the commencement of commercial production.
An area of mutual interest will extend two km from the outer boundary of the four properties comprising the Projects, excluding all properties within such area that are currently held by CanAlaska.
To view an enhanced version of this graphic, please visit:
The Projects, located 35 km north of Thompson, Manitoba, consist of four Mineral Exploration Licenses ("MEL"), the Strong, Strong Extension, Moak North and Wilson MELs, and cover an area of 30,283 hectares. The Projects are at the north end of the TNB and cover rock lithologies similar to host rocks of other major nickel deposits in the TNB. The Company is planning a $2 million exploration program over two non-contingent stages of exploration, an initial phase of $500,000 to refine drill targets by detailed ground geophysics, with a second phase 3,500 metres of 10 - 12 diamond drill holes at an estimated cost of $1,500,000.
Exploration on the Projects was initiated in the late 1950s, and to date, 139 diamond drill holes have been completed on the properties, with 126 holes drilled prior to 1980, and an additional 13 holes drilled in the early 2000s. Historical drillholes predominantly targeted EM anomalies associated with magnetic anomalies, and several holes successfully intersected the favourable Opswagan Group and several intersected rocks of the Pipe Formation. Sulphides are abundant in many holes, however, nickel bearing intersections were limited to 1 - 3 metre widths of 0.1 - 0.2% nickel. The geophysics completed in 1998 (EM and magnetics) and 2007 (VTEM) on the Strong MEL and subsequent interpretation has resulted in the identification of 14 high priority targets that have had only limited drill testing. Preliminary ground geophysics is required on these targets to detail and prioritize the drill sites. It is estimated that ground geophysics will establish 10 - 12 targets for drilling.
In summary, Nickelex is well-structured with an experienced geologic team, management group, and Board of Directors, and with an exciting portfolio of projects in the critical metal EV sector.
To view an enhanced version of this graphic, please visit:
The Company also reports that it has granted incentive stock options to directors, officers and consultants to purchase an aggregate 3,650,000 common shares. The options are exercisable at a price of $0.05 per share for a period of five years and are subject to the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange.
Nickelex is focused on large Class 1 Nickel Deposit Discoveries in Canada and delivering the critical metals needed to power future EV demands and continued stainless steel growth.
John R. Kerr. P. Eng., is the President and director of Nickelex Resource Corporation and a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101. He has read and approves the technical content of this release.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
John Kerr, President, Nickelex Resource Corporation
Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
This news release may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding the completion of the property transaction, the timing and content of upcoming work programs, geological interpretations, receipt of property titles, potential mineral recovery processes, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. These statements are based on a number of assumptions, including, but not limited to, assumptions regarding general economic conditions, interest rates, commodity markets, regulatory and governmental approvals for Nickelex Resource Corporation's projects, and the availability of financing for Nickelex Resource Corporation's projects on reasonable terms. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward looking statements include market prices, exploitation and exploration successes, the timing and receipt of government and regulatory approvals, and continued availability of capital and financing and general economic, market or business conditions. Nickelex Resource Corporation does not assume any obligation to update or revise its forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except to the extent required by applicable law.
The securities of Blackstone Minerals Limited (‘TTM’) will be placed in trading halt at the request of TTM, pending it releasing an announcement regarding the outcome of the institutional component of the accelerated entitlement offer. Unless ASX decides otherwise, the securities will remain in trading halt until the commencement of normal trading on Thursday, 7 December 2023.
Scarlette de Lavaine
Adviser, Listings Compliance
This article includes content from Blackstone Minerals, licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.
As government mandates and policies move toward a gradual phase out of combustion engines in favor of electric and hybrid vehicles, supplies of critical materials remain insufficient to meet demand. Global automakers have begun rethinking their supply chains, with one prevailing strategy of forging partnerships with mineral exploration companies.
These supply agreements represent a compelling opportunity for junior explorers with promising assets. Companies that take advantage of this trend have the potential to become a stable supply of critical minerals, greatly enhancing shareholder value in the process.
Understanding the supply and demand dynamic from partnerships between original equipment manufacturers and mining companies is critical in identifying the right investment opportunities.
Committing to a sustainable future
In 2014, the EU committed to cutting carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030. In the years that followed, it has expanded considerably on that commitment, announcing an ambitious long-term strategy to become fully climate neutral by 2050. The EU has also taken steps to both shore up critical mineral supply chains and support the development of clean technology and green industry.
While the EU was the first to set a framework for decarbonization and electrification, it was far from the last. In the years since 2014, many others have followed Europe's lead.
In Canada, for instance, there are multiple government-led decarbonization policies. The Canadian federal government has announced plans to replace combustion engines and require 100 percent of car and passenger truck sales in 2035 to be zero emission. It will require all new vehicle sales to be zero emission by 2040. Electric Mobility Canada, an industry initiative, aims to help the country reach 100 percent electric passenger vehicle sales by 2030.
At the province level, governments have instituted programs that will help reach environmental goals, such as British Columbia's CleanBC Industrial Incentive Program and Alberta's Carbon Competitiveness Incentive.
Governments are moving toward a gradual phase out of gas vehicles in favor of electric cars.
The US, for its part, launched the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Though primarily a means to reduce the national deficit and curb inflation, the act also introduced several clauses geared towards sustainability, including a goal of a 40 percent reduction in emissions by 2030, investment into domestic manufacturing and energy production, and expanded tax credits for the purchase and sale of electric vehicles (EVs).
These measures will, according to a press release from the White House, serve a few purposes. First, the Act's incentives will reduce the cost of both EVs and EV charging infrastructure. Incentivization is also expected to drive competition and consumer demand while accelerating the growth of the EV market. Lastly, the government intends to promote private sector investment and establish a stable domestic supply chain for critical minerals.
China, the country with the world's fastest-growing EV market, has also established multiple sustainability-focused initiatives. The Chinese government is investing heavily in EVs, with plans to build charging stations for 20 million EVs by 2025 while also constructing a fully electrified public transit system. These measures represent a cornerstone of China's carbon neutrality plan, which it hopes to achieve by 2060.
Other countries are also on board with the EV industry.
Indonesia plans to have 13 million electric motorbikes and 2.2 million electric cars on the road by 2030. The United Kingdom intends for all new cars and vans sold in the country to be zero emission by 2035. The Government of Japan announced similar plans for what it refers to as clean energy vehicles.
In search of adequate supply
The response from automakers to EV initiatives has been largely positive, with the majority of industry leaders embracing electrification. This is most evident from the heavy investment that companies like Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) and General Motors (NYSE:GM) have directed toward manufacturing infrastructure. For example, the US hosts nearly 30 EV factories and gigafactories in various stages of construction, with even more facilities dedicated to battery manufacturing.
Tesla alone currently operates five gigafactories worldwide, with plans to eventually increase that number to twelve.
Yet manufacturing is only half the equation; the other half is in the supply of raw materials that will feed it. Given the current rate of production, there is a looming global shortage of multiple materials crucial to EV production, including but not limited to lithium, graphite and copper.
While mining and exploration companies working together with governments have made great strides in addressing these deficits and establishing a stable domestic supply chain, it's still not enough. There are simply too many stalled, incomplete and slow-to-start projects. In light of this, EV manufacturers are increasingly taking matters into their own hands by establishing supply partnerships with junior mining and exploration companies.
These partnerships will impact the market for both critical minerals and battery metals, potentially causing further price spikes as manufacturers stake their claim on already limited supply. Moving forward, agreements between automakers and mineral producers could become standard practice — and even required to remain competitive in the EV market. The upside for exploration companies and their investors: these deals have the potential for considerable returns.
Paving the way to electrification
So why are EV manufacturers targeting exploration companies specifically?
As noted by the New York Times, established mining companies cannot meet the needs of the EV industry. Throwing in their lot with exploration companies gives automakers the opportunity to completely sidestep existing supply chains and gain exclusive access to the materials their factories require. These agreements represent something of a return to the automotive sector's roots, hearkening back to the days of Ford's (NYSE:F) Brazilian rubber plantations.
"We quickly realized there wasn't an established value chain that would support our ambitions for the next 10 years," Sham Kunjur, executive director of General Motors' EV Raw Materials Center of Excellence, told the New York Times. "It almost seems like 100 years later, we're back (to the early days of the industry)."
The majority of industry partnerships are focused on securing a supply of lithium, although other metals such as nickel, cobalt and manganese may also become targets in the near future.
There have been several prominent recent partnership deals, one of which is Liontown Resources’ (ASX:LTR) February 2022 deal with Tesla. Contingent on the company starting commercial production in 2025, the supply agreement promises roughly a third of the company's production capacity to the EV manufacturer. Liontown has also signed offtake agreements with Ford and LG Energy Solution (KRX:373220), with all three deals accounting for roughly 450,000 dry metric tons of lithium per year.
Nevada is emerging as a new lithium frontier with several promising projects underway.
In 2023, Lithium Americas (NYSE:LAC) signed a US$650 million equity investment deal with General Motors to develop the mining company's Thacker Pass project in Nevada. This deal represents the largest investment in raw battery materials by an automaker to date.
In Europe, Vulcan Energy Resources (ASX:VUL), which controls license areas in both Italy and the Upper Rhine Valley in Germany, currently maintains lithium supply agreements with Stellantis (NYSE:STLA), Renault (EPA:RNO) and Volkswagen (OTC Pink:VLKAF,FWB:VOW). It also has offtake agreements with LG Energy Solutions as well as battery materials producer Umicore (EBR:UMI).
Significant though they are, these agreements represent only a drop in the bucket. There are many other junior exploration companies that could serve as promising suppliers for automakers, including Grid Battery Metals (TSXV:CELL,OTCQB:EVKRF). In addition to several lithium development projects in Nevada, the company has discovered a promising nickel exploration region situated in Central British Columbia.
Each of the company's four projects is situated near extensive pre-existing infrastructure, ensuring that Grid Battery Metals can ramp up production in the short term with minimal capital investment cost. The Canadian exploration company also raised in excess of C$5 million in 2023 and has approximately C$9 million in working capital on its balance sheet.
With supply deficits growing progressively more severe, EV manufacturers have begun to take matters into their own hands, signing agreements with junior exploration companies to gain exclusive access to critical materials. This has resulted in significant returns for those companies and their investors — with more opportunities likely to come in the near future.
This INNSpired article is sponsored by Grid Battery Metals (TSXV:CELL,OTCQB:EVKRF). This INNSpired article provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Grid Battery Metalsin order to help investors learn more about the company. Grid Battery Metals is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this INNSpired article.
This INNSpired article was written according to INN editorial standards to educate investors.
INN does not provide investment advice and the information on this profile should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. INN does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company profiled.
The information contained here is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Readers should conduct their own research for all information publicly available concerning the company. Prior to making any investment decision, it is recommended that readers consult directly with Grid Battery Metalsand seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.
The future for the global nickel market looks bright as the electric vehicle (EV) industry continues to grow exponentially — this could spur further mining activity in the world’s top nickel-producing countries.
Demand for nickel as a battery metal and as an important component in stainless steel fabrication continues to grow, and companies and countries alike are eager to jump on the nickel production bandwagon and make their mark.
With that in mind, it’s worth knowing about the nickel production hot spots. Here the Investing News Network presents the top nickel-producing countries, based on the latest US Geological Survey data.
Mine production: 1.6 million MT
Claiming first place for production by a long shot, Indonesia is a prime example of a country wanting to get in on the exploding market for nickel. Its output of the base metal has grown tremendously from 2017’s number of 345,000 metric tons (MT) to a whopping 1.6 million MT in 2022. Indonesia also hosts 21 million MT of nickel reserves.
The nation is actively building out its EV battery industry, and Indonesia's close proximity to China, the world’s current leader in EV manufacturing, makes for an ideal setup. In May 2021, the country welcomed the commissioning of its first plant to process nickel for use in EV batteries. Dozens more such projects are reportedly in the pipeline, according to the East Asia Forum. "In just three years, Indonesia has signed more than a dozen deals worth more than $15 billion for battery materials and EV production with global manufacturers," Euronews reported.
Mine production: 330,000 MT
The Philippines has been one of the top nickel-producing countries and a nickel ore exporter for quite some time. Another country with close proximity to China, the Philippines currently has 30 nickel mines, including Rio Tuba, operated by Nickel Asia, one of the nation’s top nickel ore producers. After taking a small hit between 2017 and 2018, when nickel production fell from 366,000 MT to 340,000 MT, the Philippines increased its nickel output to 420,000 MT in 2019.
However, the upward trend was short-lived as the country continues to deal with record rainfall that has flooded mining operations. In 2022, the archipelagic country saw its nickel output slip by 50,000 MT from the previous year to land at 330,000 MT.
Two of the Phillipine’s biggest nickel producers, Nickel Asia Corp and Global Ferronickel are planning to invest about a combined US$2 billion to build new nickel processing plants, reported Bloomberg.
Mine production: 220,000 MT
Even though it holds the third spot on this list, Russia has seen its nickel production drop in the past few years. In 2018, the nation’s nickel output totaled 272,000 MT, but it came in at 220,000 MT in 2022.
Russia’s Norilsk Nickel (OTC Pink:NILSY,MCX:GMKN) is one of the world’s largest nickel and palladium producers. The firm plans to invest US$35 billion into energy infrastructure upgrades over the next decade in the hopes of increasing its mining output by 2030. Russia's war with Ukraine was responsible for spiking nickel prices in 2022.
Norlisk's 2023 production is expected to be lower as curbs production for planned repairs
4. New Caledonia
Mine production: 190,000 MT
This French country just off the coast of Australia has also seen its nickel production decrease in recent years, dropping from 220,000 MT in 2019 to 190,000 MT in 2022. The country’s economy depends heavily on the price of nickel.
New Caledonia has resisted selling nickel ore directly to large nickel-consuming countries such as China in the past in order to preserve its domestic smelting and refining industry, which is a key source of revenue. However, in December 2016, the New Caledonian government approved requests from nickel miners to export over 2 million MT of ore to China.
In 2020, major miner Vale (NYSE:VALE) sold its interest in the Goro nickel mine in New Caledonia. Today, provincial authorities and local interests hold a 51 percent interest in the mine, while global commodities trader Trafigura and EV maker Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) also hold significant interests.
Mine production: 160,000 MT
Australia, another of the top nickel-producing countries, saw its production increase from 151,000 MT in 2021 to 160,000 MT in 2022. One top-producing player in the country is BHP (NYSE:BHP,ASX:BHP,LSE:BHP) with its Nickel West division.
After nickel’s price crash from 2014 to 2016, a number of mines closed shop. However, since the metal's recovery, miners down under have given the base metal another chance. Those include Mincor Resources (ASX:MCR,OTC Pink:MCRZF), the owner of the Kambalda nickel operation, which hosts three mines in Western Australia. A major highlight of Mincor's 2022 annual report was that Kambalda processed its first ore in May 2022 and had its first reportable revenue of AU$25.3 million in June 2022.
Mine production: 130,000 MT
Canada’s nickel production has declined from 180,000 MT in 2019 to 130,000 MT in 2022. The country’s Sudbury Basin is the second largest supplier of nickel ore in the world, and Vale’s Sudbury operation is located there.
Another key nickel producer in Canada is Glencore (LSE:GLEN,OTC Pink:GLCNF), which owns the Raglan mine in Quebec, as well as the Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations in Ontario. The Sudbury operations include the Nickel Rim South mine, the Fraser mine, the Strathcona mill and the Sudbury smelter.
Mine production: 110,000 MT
China’s nickel production has remained relatively consistent in recent years. In addition to being one of the top nickel-producing countries, China is the world’s leading producer of nickel pig iron, which is a low-grade ferronickel used in stainless steel. Jinchuan Group, a subsidiary of Jinchuan Group International Resources (HKEX:2362), is a large nickel producer in China.
China's key role in stainless steel production means that it also influences nickel price dynamics.
Mine production: 83,000 MT
In recent years, Brazil’s nickel production has trended upwards from 74,400 MT in 2019 to 83,000 MT in 2022. Brazil’s nickel project pipeline has a planned CAPEX of US$1.06 billion through 2025.
Vale, a major producer based in Brazil, sold the Jaguar nickel project in the Carajás mineral province to Centaurus Metals (ASX:CTM,OTCQX:CTTZF) in April 2020. The project hosts a resource of 40.4 million MT at 0.78 percent nickel, totaling 315,000 MT of contained nickel. Jaguar was one of three mining projects selected by the Brazilian government to receive support in obtaining environmental licenses.
9. United States
Mine production: 18,000 MT
Lastly, US nickel production has increased from 2019’s mark of 14,000 MT to 18,000 MT in 2022. In early February 2022, nickel was added to the US' critical minerals list, according to the US Geological Survey.
The Eagle mine is the only primary nickel-mining project in the US. The mine, located on the Yellow Dog Plains in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, is a small, high-grade nickel-copper mine project owned by Lundin Mining (TSX:LUN,OTC Pink:LUNMF).
FAQs for nickel production
How is nickel mined and processed?
How nickel is mined and processed depends upon many factors, such as the size, grade, morphology and depth of the nickel deposit that's under consideration. While lateritic nickel deposits are generally mined from open pits via strip mining, sulfide nickel deposits are often mined using underground extraction methods.
After mining, nickel ore is processed into higher-grade concentrates through crushing and separating nickel-bearing material from other minerals using various physical and chemical processing methods. Next, the concentrates are smelted in a furnace before the final stage of refinement using pyrometallurgical and hydrometallurgical processes.
How bad is nickel mining for the environment?
Nickel mining involves serious environmental concerns, including air and water pollution, habitat destruction, community displacement, wildlife migration pattern disturbances, greenhouse gas emissions and carbon-intensive energy use. Nickel-mining companies looking to supply the EV market are feeling the pressure to lessen the environmental footprint of their operations.
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time news updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
SKRR Exploration (TSXV:SKRR, OTCQB:SKKRF, FSE:BO4Q) is a Canadian junior exploration and development company focused on gold in the underexplored Trans Hudson Corridor in Saskatchewan, with five highly prospective gold assets in the area. In addition to its gold projects, SKRR holds two nickel-zinc properties located in Saskatchewan and British Columbia, and a recently optioned uranium asset in the Athabasca Basin.Over the past 20 years, gold has outperformed the S&P 500, appreciating more than 500 percent, while the total returns of the S&P 500 are just over 190 percent. On the flip side of this growth, a gold supply crisis may be looming as the number of gold development projects has been on the decline since 2007. One study found that the 2015 level of gold discoveries is 85 percent below the 2006 level.
SKRR Exploration is aiming to change this gold supply trajectory, through exploration work at its highly prospective assets within the emerging gold-producing region of the Trans Hudson Corridor. To date, the Homestake Gold Mine just south of the Canadian border, has been the most significant deposit within the Trans Hudson Corridor. It produced 43.9 million ounces (Moz) of gold between 1878 and 2002.
The Trans Hudson Corridor demonstrates a similar potential to the famous Abitibi Greenstone Belt yet remains underexplored. The company owns five assets within the corridor and is currently systematically exploring each property. The company’s portfolio contains several unexplored or underexplored assets with blue-sky potential.Additionally, the company has two nickel and zinc properties in Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Both of these metals have strong industrial demand that is expected to grow as the electrification transition continues. The global nickel market is expected to reach as high as US$59.1 billion in 2028, up from US$36.27 billion in 2021. Meanwhile, the global zinc market is expected to reach US$45.78 billion by 2027, up from US$26.64 billion in 2022.
In 2023, SKRR entered into an option agreement with F3 Uranium to acquire up to 70 percent interest in the Clearwater West Property, signaling the addition of uranium to its portfolio. Comprising three contiguous mineral claims totaling 11,786 hectares, the Clearwater West Project is located 20 kilometers outside the edge and in the southwest area of the Athabasca Basin.
An experienced management team leads the company toward reaching its goals. Sherman Dahl, CEO, brings 20 years of capital market experience to the company, focusing on identifying undervalued assets. Ron Netolitzky, advisor, has over 40 years of experience in the mining industry and is credited for three major gold deposits in Canada.
- SKRR Exploration is focused on gold exploration in the Trans Hudson Corridor in Saskatchewan, Canada.
- The Trans Hudson Corridor is a highly prospective gold belt with similar geology to the renowned Abitibi Greenstone Belt.
- The company owns five gold projects within the Trans Hudson Corridor and two nickel-zinc projects in British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
- In 2023, SKRR entered into an option agreement with F3 Uranium to acquire up to a 70 percent interest in the Clearwater West Property, adding uranium to its portfolio of assets.
- Each of SKRR’s assets is underexplored or unexplored, representing a significant potential for discovering new deposits.
- An expert management team with a range of expertise throughout the natural resource industry leads the company toward fully exploring its assets.
Olson Gold Project
SKRR’s 5,038-hectare property is highly prospective of gold as exploration continues. The company has the option to earn up to 75 percent interest in the Olson property and is moving towards additional drilling through systematic exploration.
- Encouraging Results: Drill campaigns in 2020 and 2021 produced encouraging results, including the discovery of mineralization in previously untested areas. A total of 30 holes were drilled between two campaigns, with results including:
- 1.53 meters at 13.8 grams per ton (g/t) gold
- 1.21 meters at 2.54 g/t gold
- 7.62 meters at 3.44 g/t gold including 1.53 meters at 13.80 g/t gold
- 1.23 meters at 9.64 g/t gold
- Geology Similar to Prolific Mines: The project is atop a VMS mineralization and is hosted in the Glennie Domain, which is the source of the province’s largest orogenic gold deposit, the Seabee Gold Mine.
- Future Drill Targets: SKRR’s geophysics model has proven to be a reliable predictor of mineralizations, based on completed drill campaigns.
Irving Gold Project
The large, 20,000-hectare Irving property is located near an established mining district. The Irving Lake property is an early-stage project that has exhibited gold mineralizations during previous exploration.
- Promising Assays: Recently completed exploration campaigns have returned promising results, including:
- Soil sampling returned up to 75 parts per billion (ppb) gold and 75 parts per million (ppm) copper
- Rock grab sampling returned up to 167 ppb gold and 578 ppm copper
- Proximity to Prolific Mines: The Irving project is strategically located roughly 25 kilometers from SSR Mining’s successful Seabee and Santoy gold mines, which have the most prolific orogenic gold deposits in Saskatchewan.
- Historical Exploration: Rock samples from historical exploration produced assays up to 3.93 g/t gold and 413 ppm copper.
Manson Bay Gold Project
The 4,239-hectare asset is 40 kilometers northwest of the mining city of Flin Flon, Manitoba. SKRR has 100 percent interest in the project and is currently awaiting assay from a recently completed drill campaign.
- Drill Campaign: The recently completed 12-hole drill program, assays pending, confirmed mineralizations indicative of significant gold deposits.
- Hosts the Manson Bay Gold Zone: The project contains the entirety of the Manson Bay Gold Zone, which has historic drill intersections up to 15.39 g/t gold.
- Encouraging Mineralizations: Identified mineralizations, with widths up to 26.5 meters wide, in the shear breccia zones include:
- Massive to semi-massive pyrite
Other Gold Projects
SKRR Exploration’s gold projects are within the underexplored Trans Hudson Corridor. This corridor is similar to the prolific Abitibi Greenstone Belt yet has not received the same exploration attention.
- Ithingo: The 2,849-hectare land package includes 12 contiguous mineral claims. The asset has 5,200 meters of historical drilling work, complete with intercepts of up to 138.97 g/t gold. A 2021 drill program has helped identify future drill targets for follow-up exploration.
- Cathro: The early-stage gold-bearing geology was first identified in 1958 and had significant potential for further exploration. Historic results indicate up to 8.1 g/t gold.
The company has two nickel-zinc deposits, creating additional revenue streams as exploration continues. Each project is highly prospective for future deposits.
- Feather Lake: The Feather Lake contains 200-meter to 800-meter wide tracks. Several nickel and copper showers along the trend indicate drill intersections of 1.34 percent nickel and 0.94 percent copper.
- Nickel Peak Group: This active nickel mine is in British Columbia, spans 8,425 acres, and is home to multiple mining projects. Nickel deposits and other significant occurrences are nearby with highly prospective claims with ultramafic intrusive rock discoveries.
Clearwater West Property
The Clearwater West Property comprises three contiguous mineral claims totaling 11,786 hectares and located 20 kilometers outside the edge and in the southwest area of the Athabasca Basin. The project is 13 kilometers south of Fission Uranium's Triple R deposit, located 7 kilometers outside the basin edge on its PLS Property and 17 kilometers south of NexGen's Arrow uranium deposit.Clearwater West is an early-stage exploration project prospective for hosting high-grade uranium mineralization. SKRR is conducting a review of the previous exploration work and a reassessment of the untested drill targets on the Clearwater West Property. A work permit application for the planned winter 2024 exploration work has been submitted to the Ministry of Environment of Saskatchewan.
Sherman Dahl - President and Director
Sherman Dahl is a seasoned investor and financier who is well-versed in finance and marketing strategies for small-cap private and public Canadian companies. Dahl has expertise in identifying undervalued companies and introducing these opportunities to his buy-side network of clients, strategic co-investors and marketing participants.
Dahl has a proven record of being able to raise capital and increase investor awareness and liquidity. Dahl was previously a vice-president and investment adviser with National Bank Financial, a leading Canadian investment dealer. In addition to managing a $150-million retail book and achieving Chairman’s Council level, Dahl participated in numerous capital raises totaling more than $150 million directly for various issuers with total issuer financings of $1 billion on behalf of retail and institutional clients over a 20-year career.
Pretium Communications is an advisory and consulting firm based in Vernon, BC. Pretium Holdings also owns and operates restaurants and media print businesses in Vernon, B.C. Dahl holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (economic and finance major) from the University of Regina.
Iain Butler - Director
Iain Butler has over 25 years of experience in various senior financial and general management roles. Currently with Kal Tire as the VP of finance for their mining group where he is a member of the board of directors for Kal Tire’s International entities. Butler has completed multiple complex acquisitions, both in Canada and abroad.
Iain has an economics degree from the University of Essex and is a member of the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Jeremy Ross - Director
Jeremy Ross has more than twenty years in corporate development and marketing for small-cap to mid-tier mining, oil and gas companies. With a comprehensive network of institutional and retail relationships, Ross has planned and implemented numerous marketing campaigns. He was the corporate development consultant for Fission Energy and played a key role in growing investor awareness up until its major sale of assets to Denison Mines.
In 2013, Ross was appointed to the board of directors of Fission Uranium and was appointed to the Fission 3.0 board of directors following Fission Uranium’s acquisition of Alpha Minerals.
Ron Netolitzky - Advisor to the Board
Ron Netolitzky has been very successful in mining exploration with over 40 years of experience and has been directly associated with three major gold discoveries in Canada that have subsequently been put into production: Eskay Creek, Snip and Brewery Creek. He is a director of several publicly traded exploration companies.Netolitzky has been honored with the Prospector of the Year award from the PDAC, and Developer of the Year award from the BC & Yukon Chamber of Mines. In 2015, he was inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame.
Pivotal Metals Limited (ASX:PVT) (‘Pivotal’ or the ‘Company’) is pleased to advise it has received oversubscriptions and firm commitments for a $2.5 million placement (Placement) at $0.016 per share, being a 5.6% discount to the 5 day VWAP. The offer was oversubscribed and scale backs were applied.
- Firm commitments for $2.5m Placement received, endorsing the value proposition in Pivotal’s 100% owned Quebec Cu-Ni-PGM projects.
- Placement combined with existing cash to:
- Redeem $1m of convertible notes, which were subject to either discounted conversion, or repayment by 14 March 2024.
- Execute on 2024 exploration work program which includes 8,000 diamond drilling, geophysics, metallurgical testwork and a resource update.
- Fully fund ‘non flow-through’ qualifying expenditure into 2025.
- Introduction of new funds and a strategic high net worth investor.
- All Directors participated in the Placement for a total scaled back allocation of $235k (subject to shareholder approval).
The Company was delighted to work with Morgans Financial Ltd as Lead Manager for the Placement, welcoming new interest in the Company’s assets and endeavours from its extensive client base.
Managing Director, Mr Fairhall said:
“This successful placement sets Pivotal up for an exciting 2024. Early repayment of the convertible note prevents the overhang of dilutive equity conversions, and the decision to replace that note with strong primary equity demand was a purposeful one. Allocation of the Placement was focussed on high-net-worth investors and long-term holders of the Company’s shares, to strengthen the Company’s position and register.
With a very strong balance sheet shareholders now enjoy a cleared path for extensive news flow through 2024, as Horden Lake is drilled and advanced for the first time in over a decade.
We remain very grateful to our loyal shareholders, particularly those that participated in the offer and warmly welcome our new shareholders.”
Catalysts and Work Program
The Company has commenced an extensive work program on its Canadian Cu-Ni-PGM projects, with the majority of focus on its 100% owned Horden Lake project, which already hosts a 28mt at 1.5% CuEq inferred and indicated resource1.
The Horden Lake exploration program is of particular importance, as it represents:
- The first since Pivotal acquired Horden Lake in late-2022 from private ownership,
- The first on the project in over 10 years; and
- The first within an ASX listed company.
Key catalysts over the next 2-3 quarters are as follows:
- 8,000m diamond drilling on Horden Lake, targeting grade and tonnage upside.
- Downhole EM survey at Horden Lake, targeting massive sulphide extensions below open mineralisation.
- Metallurgical testwork to optimise a flowsheet for maximum net smelter return from contained metals.
- Horden Lake resource update.
- Geophysics results from BAGB surveys recently completed, and ongoing interpretation and targeting.
Figure 1: Pivotal Metals work program and news flow timeline
Refer to the Company’s ASX announcement dated 3 October 2023 “Exploration and Development Work Program for Quebec Projects” for additional information.
As of the date of this release, the Company has received firm commitments to a raise $2.5m through the issuance of 156,250,000 new shares at $0.016/share; representing a 5.6% discount to the 5 day VWAP and 20% discount to the last traded share price on 23 November 2023.
The shares will be issued in two tranches. Tranche 1 will comprise the issuance of 132,187,500 shares which fall within the existing capacity under ASX Listing Rules 7.1 and 7.1A, approved at the Company’s AGM on 21 November 2023. Settlement of Tranche 1 is expected to take place on or around 4 December 2023, with allotment and quotation of new shares expected to occur on 5 December 2023.
This article includes content from Pivotal Metals, licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.
Grid Battery Metals (TSXV:CELL; OTCQB:EVKRF) is a Canadian-based exploration company focused on high-value battery metals required for the electric vehicle (EV) market. The company, formerly called Nickel Rock Resources, changed its name to Grid Battery Metals in April 2023 and started trading on the TSXV under the ticker CELL.
Grid is focused on EV battery metals exploration through its highly prospective lithium and nickel properties in North America. Grid has three lithium properties in Nevada: Texas Springs, Clayton Valley, and Volt Canyon. The Texas Springs Property, located in Elko County, covers approximately 2,500 hectares and is adjoining the southern boundary of the Nevada North Lithium Project owned by Surge Battery Metals (TSXV:NILI). Surge recently announced high-grade lithium of up to 8,070 parts per million (ppm) lithium on the Nevada North Lithium project, which increases the likelihood of a large-scale high-grade lithium discovery at Texas Springs.
The company has completed the first phase of its initial exploration program at Texas Springs, which included a CSAMT geophysical survey and a detailed soil sampling on a 50-meter by 100-meter spacing. Results from these two exploration programs will be key to determining its 2024 exploration plan and possible drilling locations for clay-based lithium targets.
The 2,300-acre Clayton Valley property, is immediately north of Albemarle’s (NYSE:ALB) Silver Peak Lithium Project, the only producing lithium mine in North America. The property has strong potential to host both lithium brine deposits as well as clay-hosted deposits.
The Volt Canyon lithium property features sediment-hosted lithium clay targets and has excellent accessibility, enabling exploration and exploitation throughout the year. Although limited exploration has been conducted in the immediate area, regional sediment samples in the region taken by the US government returned up to 108 ppm lithium near the property.
The exploration programs on these projects are fully funded through 2024, given Grid’s total available liquidity of approximately C$9 million (including marketable securities).
The shareholders should benefit from the company’s strategy of divesting its nickel assets into a separate public company. Grid announced plans to spin off its British Columbia nickel property into a new company (SpinCo) which will be listed on the TSX Venture Exchange. It is anticipated that each Grid shareholder will receive 1/20 of a SpinCo share for each Grid common share held. This is a win for shareholders as it gives them an equity interest in a new public company at no additional cost.
Grid’s management and geological team has been actively exploring for EV battery metals in Nevada for over a decade. They have been successful in finding and funding new lithium discoveries and had a number of successful exits from companies, the most recent being Surge Battery Metals, where they were responsible for the discovery of the Nevada North Lithium Project. The management’s successful track record of lithium exploration in Nevada provides confidence about the company’s future.
Net-zero targets and calls from policymakers to move towards cleaner transportation have led to an increase in focus on EVs. Auto manufacturers worldwide are producing more EVs for sale each year. Canalys’ latest research shows worldwide sales of EVs grew by 49 percent to 6.2 million units in the first half of 2023. The overall share of EVs reached 16 percent of the global light vehicle market in the same period, a significant increase compared to 12.4 percent from the first half of 2022. The United States is one the fastest growing EV market with a 97-percent year-over-year growth in the first half of 2023.
The support from both the US and Canadian governments through subsidies and favorable legislation continues to drive EV adoption. In particular, both countries have committed to supporting the mining industry for key battery metals with legislation like the US Inflation Reduction Act, which provides both financial and functional support to the mining industry. Buoyed by government policy, US electric vehicle sales are projected to surpass 4.6 million units by 2030 (versus the 2023 estimate of 1.3 million).
Automakers cannot produce electric vehicles without access to battery metals such as lithium and nickel. Fear of missing out is pushing automakers to lock supplies of minerals for electric vehicle batteries. As such, we are seeing increasing partnerships between miners and auto OEMs. Automakers, including General Motors, Ford, BMW, Tesla and Stellantis, have committed large investments in direct financing of mines. We see more carmakers following suit as they strive to own the full supply chain from mine to product.
- Grid Battery Metals is a Canadian-based exploration company focused on high-value battery metals required for the electric vehicle (EV) market.
- The company has three highly prospective lithium properties in Nevada, USA: Texas Springs, Clayton Valley and Volt Canyon. In addition, it holds a nickel project, Grid Nickel Group, based in British Columbia, Canada.
- As Grid focuses on its lithium projects in Nevada, it plans to spin out its nickel property in British Columbia into a new company (SpinCo) over the next three to six months. SpinCo will be listed as a public company on the TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV), with each Grid shareholder receiving 1/20 of the SpinCo share at no additional cost.
- All three lithium projects are in the early stage with exploration planned for 2024. The exploration programs on these projects are fully funded through 2024, given Grid’s total available liquidity of approximately C$9 million (including marketable securities).
- Grid’s management and exploration team has been actively exploring for EV battery metals in Nevada for over a decade, and it has been very successful in finding and funding new lithium discoveries, the most recent being the discovery of the Nevada North Lithium Project.
- EV sales are booming with projections of 4.6 million units by 2030 in the US. Battery metals such as lithium are critical for EVs. Grid Battery Metals is well positioned to be a pioneering player in the battery metals market with a strong focus on lithium, and promising properties in the U.S.
Texas Spring Project, Nevada
The Texas Spring Lithium Project, located in Granite Range, Nevada, is 100 percent owned by the company. The project covers approximately 400 hectares (988.4 acres) of area with 34 full lode claims and 30 partial lode claims. It is adjacent to the southern boundary of the Nevada North Lithium Project, owned by Surge Battery Metals. Surge’s initial drilling efforts have successfully identified lithium-rich clay deposits. In fact, a recent discovery in September 2023 showed values of up to 8,070 ppm of lithium.
The proximity to Nevada North Lithium certainly increases optimism for the Texas Spring Project. On top of that, the key founders and members of Surge’s geological team are also the founding management team of Grid, which further increases confidence in the project. The project enjoys excellent infrastructure in terms of paved highways and country roads.
The company recently completed the first phase of its initial exploration program at Texas Springs which included a CSAMT geophysical survey and a detailed soil sampling. Together, they would help predict geological structure and possible drilling locations for lithium targets.
Clayton Valley Project, Nevada
The Clayton Valley Lithium Project, located in Clayton Valley Nevada, is 100 percent owned by the company. The project is spread over approximately 930 hectares (~2,300 acres) with 118 claims. The project is located approximately 344 kilometers (~214 miles) from Reno in the northwest and Las Vegas in the southeast. Moreover, the property is around 315 kilometers (~196 miles) from the Tesla giga-factory and features good infrastructure with excellent road access and a nearby electrical substation.
The project claims are adjacent to the Silver Peak Lithium Project of Albemarle Corporation, which is the only producing lithium mine in North America. Clayton Valley’s lithium is contained in both underground reservoirs (aquifers) in the form of salty groundwater (brine), and in clay-hosted deposits. Historic exploration work dating back to 2021, which included three reverse circulation holes, has inferred the existence of a graben that may be a sub-basin of the larger Clayton Valley basin and may represent a secondary trap for lithium brines.
Volt Canyon Project, Nevada
The Volt Canyon Lithium Project, located in Monitor Valley, Nevada, is 100 percent owned by the company. The project covers an area of approximately 635 hectares (~1,569 acres) with 80 claims and is located approximately 122 kilometers northeast of Tonopah, Nevada. It benefits from excellent accessibility that enables exploration throughout the year.
Although limited exploration has been conducted in the immediate area, regional sediment samples in the region taken by the US government returned up to 108 ppm lithium near the property. The deposit’s origin is thought to be similar to Clayton Valley clay deposits, located about 180 kilometers to the south.The exploration program includes surface sampling, auger or push drill water sampling along with geophysical work to identify drilling sites for an initial drill test on the property. Subsequently, additional surface and subsurface sampling will be executed in the form of drilling.
Grid Nickel Group, Central B.C., Canada
The Grid Nickel Group is a nickel project located in Central British Columbia, Canada, involving 17 mineral claims in three groups – Nickel West, Nickel Central and Nickel South. The company has 100 percent interest on ~6,125 hectares with a 2 percent net smelter royalty and has the option to acquire 100 percent interest on an additional 1,400 hectares. The project is located approximately 100 kilometers (~62 miles) northwest of Fort St. James. The project enjoys good infrastructure in terms of paved and gravel roads, access by helicopter, a rail line at a short distance, and hydroelectric power lines crossing the region.
The company’s project area is in close proximity to FPX Nickel’s Decar Project & Baptiste Nickel Deposit, one of the world’s most robust large-scale nickel projects. The mineral claims are partially underlain by rocks similar to the Decar project, where mineralization includes nickel, cobalt and chromium. Exploration reports for the property date back to 1974 and some nickel mineralization occurs as awaruite, which is a naturally occurring nickel-iron alloy important in the manufacture of environmentally efficient batteries for the electric vehicle market.
The Grid Nickel Group project remains a non-core project for Grid and is planned to be separated into a new public listed company via a spin-off in the next three to six months. Each Grid shareholder will receive their proportionate share in the new company (SpinCo) at no additional cost. It is expected that for every 20 shares of Grid held, a shareholder will receive one share of SpinCo. SpinCo plans to raise $2 million in financing to fund its exploration program at the time of its public listing.
Tim Fernback – President & CEO
Tim Fernback holds a Bachelor of Science from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and an MBA with a concentration in finance from the University of British Columbia. He also holds a Certified Professional Accounting (CPA, CMA) designation in Canada. He has more than 30 years of experience in finance with both public and private companies in Canada and is currently a director of several publicly traded companies.
Robert Guanzon - CFO
Roberts Guanzon holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and has rich experience in finance, accounting and corporate strategy. He serves as the CFO of several junior resource companies listed on the TSXV.
Tina Whyte – Corporate Secretary
Tina Whyte has more than 20 years of experience in the corporate and securities industry. She is an expert in several areas including corporate governance, continuous disclosure, financing transactions and regulatory filings and compliance. She also holds corporate secretary positions with other publicly listed companies.
Jay Oness – Director
Jay Oness has rich experience in all aspects of corporate management including strategic planning, business development and investor relations for public companies. He has over 20 years of experience and has served as a director, senior executive and consultant to public companies in the resource and non-resource sectors. He is currently VP of business and corporate development of Southern Silver Exploration.
Robert Setter – Director
Robert Setter holds a degree in economics and has over two decades of experience in business development, marketing and research. Previously, he has served as the senior financial editor for Report on Mining. He currently sits on the boards of three other listed mining companies.
Ali H. Alizadeh – Director
Ali H. Alizadeh is a senior geologist possessing extensive experience in mineral exploration & project management. He has been responsible for several uranium, gold and base metal projects during his exploration career with various exploration companies. He graduated with a geology degree in 1991, a M.Sc. in petrology in 1995, and an MBA at Queen’s University in 2010. He is also a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia.
Seth Cude – Geological Advisor
Seth Cude is a certified professional geologist with over a decade of experience in the minerals industry. He also serves as a principal geologist with Rangefront Mining Services focusing on lithium exploration.
Jeremy Hanson – Geological Advisor
Jeremy Hanson is a professional geoscientist with a decade of experience in mineral exploration in Canada. He is also a founder of Hardline Exploration, a geological consulting firm focused on Western Canada.
*This article was written in collaboration with Couloir Capital.