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Northwestern Ontario Junior Mining Review

May 5, 2021

A region steeped in natural resources including active gold mines contributes greatly to Ontario’s ranking as the largest Canadian producer of gold, platinum group metals, nickel and second largest producer of copper.

Northwestern Ontario 

By Frank Giorno

Although gold and palladium have ranked as one and two in mining production in Northwestern Ontario, great strides are being made by exploration projects for green minerals.

Gold Exploration  

First Mining Gold-Springpole Lake Deposit
First Mining is a Canadian gold developer focused on the development and permitting of the Springpole Gold Project in northwestern Ontario. Springpole is one of the largest undeveloped gold projects in Canada. The results of a positive Pre-Feasibility Study for the Springpole Gold Project were announced by First Mining in January 2021, and permitting activities are on-going with submission of an Environmental Impact Statement for the project targeted for 2021.

Great Bear Resources-Dixie Lake Prospects
Great Bear Resources Ltd. is a well-financed gold exploration company focused on the prolific Red Lake gold district. The company controls over 330 km2 across 5 projects with Dixie Project,100% owned) the company flagship.
In late March, Great Bear reported the latest results from its fully funded $45 million 2021 exploration program the Dixie Project. The company completed seven new drill holes, four of which are located within a 200 metre long previously undrilled segment of the zone. New high-grade gold mineralization was encountered in addition to the expected bulk tonnage intervals and they will undertake additional drilling in this area over the coming months.

New Gold Inc.-Intrepid Deposit
Production from the Intrepid Zone is expected to begin in late 2022. Late in the quarter, a drilling program was launched on the North East Trend, located approximately 18 kilometres northeast of the Rainy River Mine. A total of 1,298 metres of the 8,000 metres were completed by the end of the year. The drilling program continues to test the previously identified high priority targets.
At the end of the fourth quarter, development of the decline towards the Intrepid underground ore zone had advanced 590 metres, exceeding the planned 550 metres for the year. The operation has accessed the first ore level by the middle of the first quarter. The focus in 2021 will be on the refinement of the long-hole mining methodology and block model.

Pure Gold- Madsen Deposit
Pure Gold, Madsen Deposit, in the Red Lake Gold Mining District achieved its first gold pour in December 2020 and moving towards full commissioning and ramp-up activities.
Since Pure Gold’s first pour, the company now employs approximately 260 persons at the mine site. Performance to date has met or exceeded expectations with respect to underground development and ore production rates, milling performance and gold recovery. Gold pours and shipments have continued regularly throughout the ramp-up period.
The Pure Gold Mine has a 2.1-million-ounce Indicated Resource (7.2Mt at 8.9 g/t gold) and a 0.5-million-ounce Inferred Resource (1.9Mt at 7.7g/t gold). Mineral resources are inclusive of Probable Mineral Reserves of 1 million ounces of gold grading 9g/t (in 3.5 million tonnes.

Treasury Metals-Goliath and Goldlund Deposits
Treasury Metals recently announced completion of the first phase of drilling at the Goldlund Project within the greater Goliath Gold Complex. The drilling consisted of approximately 6,000 m. The GGC is located in Northwestern Ontario near Dryden. The drilling is the first part of an overall exploration campaign that aims to target specific areas identified within its recently released Preliminary Economic Assessment that have potential to add further resources for future studies and potential reserves.
The results from the preliminary economic assessment demonstrates the potential to develop a low-cost 5,000 tonnes per day (“tpd”) combined open pit and underground mining operation.

Lithium Exploration

Avalon-Separation Rapids Deposit
Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. is a Canadian mineral development company specializing in sustainably-produced materials for clean technology. Avalon is currently focusing on developing its Separation Rapids Lithium Project near Kenora, Ontario.
Avalon also signed an agreement with Rock Tech another lithium exploration company in the Thunder Bay area to jointly build a lithium battery materials process facility in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The facility would be designed to accept lithium mineral concentrates from Avalon’s Separation Rapids lithium project and Rock Tech’s Georgia Lake lithium project, as well as potentially other emerging new lithium mining operations in northern Ontario. The plan is to produce lithium sulphate, a precursor chemical for lithium-ion batteries.

Rock Tech- Ardiden JV Georgia Lake and Seymour Lake Deposits
Rock Teck brands itself as building the bridge from resource-rich Canada to process-focused Europe. The company is building its own chemical plant in Germany, becoming a fully-integrated producer of battery-grade Lithium Hydroxide, the only one outside of China. Rock Teck is positioning itself to be a strategic partner for the electric vehicle and battery storage industries in Europe.
Rock Tech Lithium owns spodumene-bearing pegmatites in the Georgia Lake area, located less than 200 kilometers northeast of the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The lithium bearing deposits form an integral part of the integrated converter strategy planned by the company. The company plans to be operational by 2023.

Frontier Lithium-PAK and Spark Deposit
Frontier Lithium announce a Phase IX diamond drill program on the PAK Lithium Project, located in the Red Lake area of northwestern Ontario. The 3,000-metre diamond drill program is based on recommendations from the company’s Pre-Economic Assessment (PEA) report that is being completed currently.
The 15-hole drill program will upgrade the 12.2 MT of Inferred Resource on the Spark Deposit to Indicated and Measured categories and to investigate potential expansion. The PAK Lithium Project contains Ontario’s highest grade and largest lithium resource which is located in an emerging world-leading lithium mineral district referred to as the “Electric Avenue”.  The drilling started in early February 2021 and will run until spring break up recommencing in May 2021.

Clean Air Metals-Thunder Bay North Deposit
Clean Air Metals’ flagship asset is the Thunder Bay North Project, a platinum, palladium, copper, nickel project located near the City of Thunder Bay, Ontario and the Lac des Iles Mine owned by Impala Platinum Holdings. The company plans to complete its Preliminary Economic Assessment by June 2021 (“PEA”) on the Current Lake Deposit. The PEA will be based on the recent mineral resource numbers and on bench-test scale metallurgical test work. The company also announced a 40,000m diamond drill program at the Thunder Bay North Project and has recommenced drilling at its Escape Lake Deposit. The drilling program is focused on systematic step-outs to add to the Indicated mineral resource of 4,286,220 tonnes grading 3.67 g/t PdEq (6.16 g/t PtEq).

Generation Mining-Marathon PGM Deposit
It has been an active 2021 so far for Generation Mining as it ushers its Marathon Palladium deposit. First, Generation Mining announced the filing of the National Instrument 43-101 Technical Report for the Feasibility Study on the Marathon Palladium-Copper Project. The feasibility study found the climate is outstanding for developing the Marathon Palladium-Copper project. The Robust economics mean: Internal Rate of Return (“IRR”) (after-tax) of 29.7% and a Net Present Value (“NPV”) (6%) of $1.07 billion based on a long-term price of US$1,725/oz for palladium and US$3.20/lb for copper.
The study using spot metal prices indicated an investment rate of return of 47%, NPV 6% of $2.02 billion and payback of 1.5 years based on spot prices of US$2,395/oz for palladium and US$3.99/lb for copper.
In February, Generation Mining announced it was beginning an 8,000 Metre Drill Program at Marathon.

The Ring of Fire:

Noront Resources-Eagles Nest/Blackbird deposits-nickel-copper-chromite
The first projects to come to fruition in Northwestern Ontario’s vast mining area dubbed the Ring of Fire will be the Eagles Nest nickel deposit followed shortly after by the Black Bird Chromite Deposit. Environmental assessments begun in 2020 on a proposed two-lane gravel road that begins by upgrading a forestry road near Nakina, Ontario and travels north for hundreds of kilometres reaching a supply route into the exploration camps. The planning and construction are being managed by Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations, and the Ontario government.
Noront Resources anticipates the EAs being completed by 2023, followed by permitting and two years of road construction leading toward a 2025 completion, the year Noront has scheduled for its Eagle’s Nest nickel, copper and platinum group site to come into commercial production.


Superior Lake Resources-Winston Lake Deposit
The Superior Lake Zinc Project is located approximately 200km’s east of Thunder Bay. The Project covers 175km2 and consists of two deposits – Winston Lake and Pick Lake. The Project is a high-grade zinc deposit.
Superior Lake Resources is the Australian-based mining company that owns the project. It has recently completed a bankable feasibility study. The project consists of two deposits – the large Pick Lake and smaller Winston Lake.
 Both locations are brownfield sites. The Winston Lake mine and 1,000-t/d mill was operated from the late 1980s to the late 1990s by Inmet Mining. The mill as processed ore from Pick Lake beginning in 1995. Historical zinc concentrate graded 52% to 53.5% zinc, and copper concentrate contained 22% to 25% copper.


Zen Graphene- Albany Deposit
Graphene is produced from graphite. The graphite from the Albany Deposit near Kapuskasing, Ontario results in a very fine-grained graphite crystallites, that yields an ideal graphite precursor material for conversion to high-value graphene, graphene oxide and graphene quantum dots.
ZEN Graphene is a next-generation nanomaterials technology company that develops graphene-based technologies that help protect people and the environment.
ZEN is currently focused on commercializing a patent pending graphene-based coating with 99% biocidal activity, including against COVID-19, and the potential to use similar graphene compounds as pharmaceutical products against infectious diseases.





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