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Canadian Prairies Snapshot: Eight companies to watch
Manitoba and Saskatchewan are among the world’s premiere jurisdictions for mining and mineral exploration. Here’s a look at eight companies working in the provinces.
ALX Uranium (TSXV: AL) is a uranium exploration company with assets in the Athabasca basin and holds over 2000 sq. km in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Based on an agreement signed in April 2019, ALX has the option to earn up to a 51% interest in the 387 sq. km Close Lake project from French uranium miner Orano by spending a total of $12 million on exploration and the issue of 10 million shares with certain back-in rights, the exercise of which would allow ALX to retain a 23% interest. Close Lake is the site of two uranium discoveries and is adjacent to Cameco’s (TSX: CCO; NYSE: CCJ) Cigar Lake and McArthur River uranium properties. Historic drill intercepts include 1.52% U3O8 over 23 metres and 0.34% U3O8 over 107 metres, including a higher-grade section of 2.86% U3O8 over 9 metres. Additional drilling and geophysics is planned.
ALX also owns 40% of the 304 sq. km Black Lake property with the option to earn up to 75% from UEX (TSX: UEX). The site is host to a conductive system over 20 km long with historical drilling intersecting uranium mineralization over a strike length of over 1.7 kilometres. ALX has completed an airborne survey and a drill program and has additional untested targets.
The 242 sq. km Hook-Carter property is 80% owned by Dension Mines (TSX: DML) and is transected by three corridors prospective for uranium mineralization with drill-ready exploration targets. The company has a $3.5-million market capitalization.
Appia Energy (CSE: API) is involved with rare earth and uranium exploration in the Athabasca basin in Saskatchewan. It holds a 100% interest in the 143 sq. km Alces Lake property, 34 km east of Uranium City. Alces Lake is within the Beaverlodge geological domain with a history of uranium production. A number of near-surface high-grade monazite-hosted rare earth element zones have been identified at the property. Channel sampling in 2018 returned results including 53.01% (by weight) total rare earth oxide (TREO) over 1 metre and 22.35% TREO over 6 metres from the Ivan Zone and 41.53% TREO over 1 metre from the Dylan zone. The mineralized zones appear to be continuous along strike. A total of 44 diamond drill holes have been completed on the property in 2019 with 40 intercepting monazite. Intercepts released to date include 16.059% TREO over 16 metres starting at 9 metres downhole and 6.162% TREO over 7 metres starting at 8 metres downhole. Additional drill results are pending. All of the zones identified to date remain open on strike and at depth.
In addition, Appia holds 100% interests in the Eastside, Loranger and North Wollaston properties in the Athabasca Basin and a 100% ownership of a property near Elliot Lake, Ont. with U3O8 and REE resources that are open on strike and at depth. The company has a $9.43-million market capitalization.
Callinex Mines (TSXV: CNX) is exploring for base and precious metals in Manitoba’s Flin Flon district and in the Bathurst mining camp in New Brunswick. In Manitoba, the company holds the Pine Bay and Flin Flon projects close to HudBay Minerals’ (TSX: HBM; NYSE: HBM) Flin Flon processing facilities and 777 mine. Callinex has a 100% interest in the Pine Bay project covering over 60 square km of claims along a 10 km prospective trend in the Flin Flon greenstone belt and located 16 km from the Flin Flon processing facilities. There are four identified deposits on the site. Pine Bay is the largest and includes a 212-metre shaft with underground development from historic exploration. Callinex has also identified the Pine Bay East Zone, 300 metres away from past underground development and within 440 metres of surface. The Flin Flon project is a wholly owned 25 sq. km property, 3 km from the 777 mine with similar host geology. Airborne surveys have identified 14 targets with two areas of high potential for volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits.
Drilling equipment at Callinex Mines’ Pine Bay project in Manitoba. Credit: Callinex Mines.
The company also holds the Nash Creek and Superjack projects in the Bathurst mining camp in New Brunswick. A 2018 preliminary economic assessment (PEA) on these two deposits outlined a 3,900-tonne-per-day, open-pit operation producing an average of 96 million lb. zinc equivalent per year at life of mine all-in costs of 37¢ per lb. zinc, net of by-product credits at a total capital cost of $168 million. Drilling is ongoing on the Bathurst properties to test identified targets and follow up on discovered mineralization. The company has a $7.1-million market capitalization.
Dension Mines (TSX: DML) is focused on uranium exploration and development in the Athabasca Basin in northern Saskatchewan. It has a 90% interest in the Wheeler River project, 35 km northeast of Cameco‘s (TSX: CCO; NYSE: CCJ) Key Lake mill. The two deposits on-site include Phoenix and Gryphon. Total probable reserves at the project stand at 1.40 million tonnes at 3.5% U3O8 for a total of 109.4 million lb. U3O8 with Phoenix, the world’s highest-grade undeveloped uranium deposit, contributing 59.7 million lb. U3O8 based on 141,000 tonnes grading 19.1% U3O8.