Zinc is widely used for manufacturing galvanized steel, UV protection and creating oxides. The base metal’s high thermal conductivity has also made it an essential material for clean technologies. As a result, the Canadian government has designated zinc a critical metal due to its essential use in emerging renewable technologies. The spot price of zinc is expected to grow at a steady CAGR of 6.9 percent between 2022 and 2030, showing the impact of emerging uses on the zinc market.
The Northwest Territories in Canada are largely underexplored yet potentially rich in zinc deposits. Mining in the Northwest Territories has significant impact on First Nations communities and it’s become essential for any mining project to have the full support and cooperation of the Indigenous communities on whose lands these projects reside. Therefore, building valuable working relationships with the local, Indigenous groups is essential for any mining operation’s success.
Natural Resources Canada actively promotes and encourages partnering with Indigenous communities early on, seeking to establish a mutual understanding and beneficial agreement for all parties involved. Additionally, the McGill University Institute for the Study of International Development (ISID) advises that working with Indigenous Peoples is essential to proper governance of a mining project by enabling decision-making and engagement practices of both parties.
Vancouver-based exploration and development mining company Slave Lake Zinc (CSE:SLZ
) is an organization that recognizes the importance of a sound partnership with Indigenous communities. The company’s flagship O’Connor Lake zinc project, in the under-explored South Slave Region of the Northwest Territories, is located on Indigenous land owned by the Métis Nation. Slave Lake has worked closely with the Métis Nation to establish collaborative agreements designed to benefit both parties to advance the project area by providing economic and employment opportunities to the Métis Nation.
These agreements allowed for an expanded land package of 76.25 square kilometers for Slave Lake, which is 15 times greater than the original 1948 lease. The area is highly prospective and underexplored, having received no attention for at least three decades. Slave Lake conducted thorough airborne geophysics surveys throughout the area. These surveys provided Indigenous communities the essential information about the prospect and its potential.
The O’Connor Lake project was initially discovered in 1948 and indicated high-grade deposits of zinc, lead, copper and precious metals. This discovery led to additional exploratory efforts up to 1952, before it was deemed uneconomical to continue based on market conditions at the time.
The project was the topic of a doctoral thesis that demonstrated and gave Slave Lake further confidence in the asset's potential. An excerpt from Bansi Prusti’s dissertation for the department of geological sciences at McGill University in Montreal states, “It is apparent that all the mineralized quartz veins occurring in this map-area have had similar origin and that they are probably hydrothermal.”
An experienced management team, with expertise throughout the mining industry and a track record of developing successful projects, provides confidence in the company’s ability to take the project toward full development.
- Slave Lake Zinc is an exploration and development mining company based in Vancouver focusing on its district-scale zinc project in the Northwest Territories.
- The company has worked closely with First Nations communities to create a mutually beneficial collaboration agreement for the economic benefit of both parties. The agreements give Indigenous communities input at every stage of development.
- O’Connor Lake, the company’s flagship district-scale asset, covers 76.25 square kilometers and is 15 times larger than the original stake in 1948 that built interest in the area.
- The Slave Lake region in the Northwest Territories is underexplored and has not received any exploration attention for at least three decades.
- The O’Connor Lake project was the subject of a doctoral thesis examining the area's potential, which was pivotal in Slave Lake’s decision to pursue the asset.
- A management team with decades of experience in the natural resources industry and a track record of success leads Slave Lake toward fully realizing the potential of its asset.
O’Connor Lake Project
The O’Connor Lake project covers 76.25 square kilometers and is approximately 185 kilometers from Yellowknife by air. Historical results indicate the presence of high-grade zinc, lead, copper and precious metals, yet the asset has not received any exploration with modern technologies and techniques. The current expanded land package is more than 15 times the original claim, as Slave Lake is aware of nearby showings that have only been mapped from the shore. The company has worked closely with First Nations communities to create mutually beneficial agreements.
- Mutually Beneficial Collaboration Agreement: The agreement with Indigenous communities prioritizes collaboration between the parties throughout all project stages.
- Airborne Geophysics Survey: Slave Lake Zinc’s airborne geophysics campaign resulted in exploration results that demonstrate the economic benefits of the mine. The airborne campaign flew a 900-kilometer line survey to directly show First Nations communities the potential of the asset, rather than simply requesting cooperation.
- Excellent Existing Infrastructure: The asset is approximately 60 kilometers from a hydroelectric power station. Additionally, the project’s area is 149 kilometers from Pine Point, operated by Osisko Metals, which provides year-round, all-weather road access and year-round supply access. The O’Connor can also be accessed from Yellowknife by air.
Ritch Wigham - CEO and Director
Ritch Wigham was a registered investment advisor in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan from 1979 to 2016 with Canarim (Canaccord Saskatchewan 1979 to 1984), Davidson Partners (Toronto, Ontario 1984 to 1989), Refco Futures (Vancouver, BC 1989 to 1992), C.M. Oliver (Vancouver, BC 1993 to 1999), Mackie Research Capital (Vancouver, BC 2000 to 2013) and with Global Securities Corporation (Vancouver, BC 2013 to 2016), specializing in commodities and commodity-related securities. During the 1970s Wigham worked for public and government organization as a geological assistant and prospector and studied geological sciences at the University of Saskatchewan
Jas Rai - President and Director
Jas Rai was a registered investment advisor in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario from 2004 to 2016. Rai specialized in the venture market, including resources and tech sectors, and helped companies raise money at various stages. Rai graduated from BCIT in marketing management in 2002.
Peter Cummings - CFO
Peter Cummings is a retired chartered accountant with more than 25 years of experience as CFO of BC Hothouse Foods Inc. and subsequently of the Houweling Nurseries Group as well as more than six years of public company experience as a director and CFO. Cummings holds a bachelor of commerce degree (1978) from the University of British Columbia.
Glen Macdonald - Director
Glen Macdonald has been a professional geologist since 1982. Macdonald consults and manages exploration and mining development projects for major and junior mining companies. Macdonald has a BSc. (1973) from the University of British Columbia. He has acted as a director of junior public companies for many years.
Maxwell Braden - Director
Maxwell Braden has been the seasonal manager of Weaver & Devore Trading Ltd. in Yellowknife, NWT, since 2015, coordinating resupply to exploration crews working out of Yellowknife in the NWT and Nunavut. Between 2002 and 2014, Braden was self-employed, providing contract staking services and preparing applications for land-use permits including consultations for junior companies. During that period Braden was engaged in several environmental assessment reviews for NWT projects. From 1991 to 2001, Braden was operations manager for Yellowknife-based Northern Geophysics Ltd. and oversaw the staking of some 25 million acres for junior and major exploration companies during the diamond play in the NWT and managed grassroots exploration programs to the drilling stage.
Steven Zadka - Director
Steven Zadka is a visionary entrepreneur and mining executive. Zadka started his career over 15 years ago with a simple vision of utilizing financial strength to realize the commercial potential of an asset where value is understood. With his vision, he has come to the forefront of the natural resources and mining industries in his current executive chairman role at Cerro de Pasco Resources Inc. Zadka has extensive experience in investment banking, capital markets, M&A, and corporate finance with focus on the metals and mining industry. Zadka was previously the managing director at Sunrise Securities LLC / INTE Securities, a New York City-based investment bank. Prior to that, Zadka was an investment banker at Adar Capital Advisors, associate at Casimir Capital LP, and senior consultant at Mine Management. Zadka holds a B.S. from Baruch College in New York City.