Manitoba and Saskatchewan consistently rank top among the world’s premier jurisdictions for mining and mineral exploration. The following are eight companies with operations in the provinces.
APPIA RARE EARTHS & URANIUM
Toronto-headquartered Appia Rare Earths & Uranium (CSE: API; US-OTC; APAAF) is exploring for rare earth elements (REEs) as well as gallium and uranium in Saskatchewan.
In July, Appia announced the completion of the first phase of its 2022 exploration and drill program on the 100%-owned Alces Lake high-grade REEs and gallium property in the prolific Athabasca Basin area in the north of the province.
The company drilled 100 holes for a record metreage of 1,740.9 metres in a record time of four-and-a-half months on the 27-sq.-km property, which lies north of Lake Athabasca and the Athabasca Basin, about 34 km east of Uranium City and 135 km west of Stony Rapids.
The drilling, Appia said, included additional delineation drilling on the high-grade mineralization in the WRCB discovery, where a total of 37 hole were drilled, including previously undrilled monazite targets at Danny and Wilson/Wilson North (adjacent to WRCB), initial delineation drilling of 44 holes (7,344 metres) on discoveries at Magnet Ridge (formerly Augier) and Magnet Ridge West, and initial drilling on highly prospective anomalies at West Limb.
The new drilling at WRCB extended the trend of the REE mineralization by approximately 120 metres along strike for a total of 280 metres of strike-length mineralization, which remains open to the northwest and southeast, said Appia.
Frederick Kozak, the company’s president, noted in a July 26 press release that building on the team’s experience in 2021, the company got an early start in March on the 2022 drill program. ““Kudos to the entire team of drillers, helpers, camp support and the geology team for this record accomplishment,” he said. “Appia drilled more than double the 2021 metreage in less time than the previous year’s program. We have accomplished all of our initial phase drilling goals and now eagerly await assay results to plan the next phase of drilling.”
Appia Rare Earths & Uranium has a market cap of $16.6 million.
Baselode Energy (TSXV: FIND, US-OTC: BSENF) is a Canadian uranium exploration company looking for the next world-class deposit in the Athabasca Basin area of northern Saskatchewan.
Based in Toronto, the company holds 1,590 sq. km of highly prospective land covering three projects in the area — Catharsis, Hook, and Shadow.
In September, Baselode announced assay results from an additional 28 drill holes of a completed 22,500-metre diamond drill program on the ACKIO high-grade uranium discovery on Hook. The property encompasses 420 sq. km adjacent to the Athabasca Basin, approximately 40 km southeast of the McArthur River mine, 60 km northeast of the Key Lake uranium mill, and 16 km west of the all-season provincial highway 905 and powerlines.
Highlights from the drilling included holes AK22-034, which intersected 6.7 metres grading 0.41% uranium oxide (U3O8) starting from 170.7 metres downhole, including 2.1 metres at 0.87% U3O8; AK22-035, which returned 7.3 metres at 0.54% U3O8 from 160.2 metres, including 4.1 metres at 0.66% U3O8; and AK22-036, which hit 16.5 metres at 0.16% U3O8 from 133 metres.
Baselode says that ACKIO measures more than 375 metres along strike, more than 150 metres wide, and comprises at least five separate zones, with mineralization starting as shallow as 28 metres and extending down to roughly 300 metres depth. The bulk of mineralization at ACKIO, it says, occurs in the upper 200 metres and remains open to the west, south, and along the Athabasca sandstone unconformity to the east and south.
Commenting in a Sept. 12 press release, James Sykes, the company’s president and CEO, said that Baselode “was enthusiastic about confirming additional near-surface, high-grade uranium mineralization in several drill holes at ACKIO,” with four of the reported drill holes (AK22-038, AK22-051, AK22-052, and AK22-058) having intersected uranium mineralization starting at the glacial overburden contact with bedrock.
“That’s as shallow as possible at ACKIO and very encouraging,” he noted. “There hasn’t been mineralization as shallow as these results reported in the Athabasca in the past few decades… We believe ACKIO has significant upside potential, and we look forward to planning the next phase of diamond drilling to discover more shallow, high-grade uranium mineralization.”
Baselode Energy has a market cap of $65.1 million.
Callinex Mines (TSXV: CNX; US-OTC: CLLXF) is exploring for base and precious metals in the Flin Flon mining district of Manitoba.
The Canadian junior is focused on advancing its 100%-owned Pine Bay project, a district-scale land package containing four volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits over a 10 km-long trend that includes the high-grade Rainbow copper-zinc-gold-silver deposit, approximately 16 km east of the city of Flin Flon.
In September, Callinex announced the discovery of Alchemist, a new high-grade copper, zinc, gold, and silver bearing VMS deposit on the property. The company said that Alchemist sits at the base of the interpreted growth fault corridor that hosts six other deposits including the Rainbow deposit, approximately 1,420 meters to the east.
The Alchemist discovery drill hole, ALC-11, intersected 2.3 metres grading 0.9% copper, 1.76% zinc, 0.22 gram gold per tonne, and 7.05 grams silver (1.78% copper-equivalent) from 716 metres downhole. That hole was testing Anomaly B, a 600- by 400-metre highly conductive bore-hole pulse electromagnetic (BPEM) anomaly that sits within the centre of the mapped millrock at Millrock Mountain.
J.J. O’Donnell, Callinex’s exploration manager, said in a Sept. 7 press release that the discovery “supports the newly proposed VMS system which has evolved since the discovery of the Rainbow deposit in August 2020,” adding that the new discovery “is proof of concept that the property has the potential to host multiple new discoveries.”
Initial data indicates a steeply dipping/plunging system similarly defined at the Rainbow deposit.
The company announced positive results from drilling at Rainbow in mid-September, reporting what Callinex president and CEO Max Porterfield said were “some of the widest intervals and highest copper grades intersected” yet.
Hole PBM-177 cut 33.7 metres of 4.29% copper, 0.22 gram gold per tonne, 4.63 grams silver and 0.31% zinc (or 4.6% copper equivalent) from 636.3 metres depth. The delineation drill hole at the deposit’s Orange zone included shorter sections of 10.5 metres of 5.9% copper, 14.4 metres of 5% copper and 7 metres of 6.38% copper.
A step-out hole expanding the Yellow zone at Rainbow returned 11 metres of 2.43% copper, 0.24 gram gold per tonne, 5 grams silver and 0.89% zinc, or 2.98% copper equivalent. The same hole then intersected the Orange zone, returning 11.7 metres of 2.44% copper, 0.22 gram gold, 4.36 grams silver and 0.36% zinc, or 2.76% copper equivalent.
Callinex Mines has a market cap of $41.2 million.
CanAlaska Uranium (TSXV: CVV; OTC: CVVUF) is a Canadian project generator that holds interests in roughly 3,000 sq. km of land holdings in Saskatchewan’s Athabasca Basin, one of the world’s richest uranium districts. The company’s uranium properties include the Waterbury South, West McArthur, and Moon Lake South projects.
In August, the Vancouver-headquartered junior released assay results from its 2022 summer drill program on West McArthur, a joint venture with Cameco (TSX: CCO; NYSE: CCJ). CanAlaska currently owns 78% of the JV and is the project’s operator.
The company said that the drilling was focused on expanding a new discovery on the property. Hole WMA067, it said, was the first to be drilled into a new basement-hosted uranium discovery on the project and intercepted a high-grade intersection of 9 metres grading 2.4% uranium oxide (U3O8) from 906.5 metres downhole, including a higher-grade interval of 6 metres at 3.5% U3O8.
That hole, said CanAlaska, was designed to test a strong conductor anomaly identified during the 2022 winter geophysical program, 6 km along strike to the southwest of the 42 zone mineralization on the property.
Commenting on the drill result in an Aug. 22 press release, Cory Belyk, the company’s CEO, said that “This new discovery drillhole intersection has now been confirmed by assay results to be wide and high-grade,” and “is even wider than originally anticipated.”
He added that the “style and grade of mineralization is reminiscent of some of the best basement-hosted uranium drillhole intersections encountered in the Athabasca Basin and at large uranium deposits such as Eagle Point, Millennium and Arrow. Confirmation of width and grade of mineralization in this drillhole is an exciting achievement for CanAlaska, its shareholders, and the joint venture at a time when the world needs more high-grade uranium deposits to be found to support future clean energy demand.”
CanAlaska Uranium has a market cap of $52 million.
FLYING NICKEL MINING
Vancouver-headquartered Flying Nickel Mining (TSXV: FLYN; US-OTC: FLYNF) is focused on advancing its 100%-owned Minago nickel sulphide project in the southern part of Manitoba’s Thompson nickel belt, 270 km south of the city of Thompson.
In September, the junior announced that Minago is expected to have an industry leading carbon footprint and could be lower than 99% of existing global nickel production.
Flying Nickel said that, when in operation, the project is expected to produce 0.99 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per tonne of nickel-equivalent production over the life of mine, which it says is 97% lower than the industry average of 33.4 tonnes of CO2 in 2021.
The results, it said, are based on a study by Skarn Associates, a metals and mining ESG consultancy. According to Flying Nickel, the carbon footprint estimate does not include the carbon offset expected to be provided from the process of spontaneous mineral carbonation from the tailings and waste rock, which is comprised largely of serpentine rock that naturally absorbs CO2 when exposed to air.
John Lee, the CEO of Flying Nickel said in a Sept. 13 press release announcing the results of the study that the company “aims to be one of the world’s most environmentally friendly nickel mining companies, with the study demonstrating Minago being [in the] top 1% [for the] lowest carbon footprint that utilizes Manitoba’s hydroelectricity, trolley trucks and electric mine fleet.” He added that the clean nickel from the project is ideally suited for the high-performance nickel batteries powering modern EVs.
Earlier in September, Flying Nickel reported initial diamond drill results from Minago from six holes (2,718 metres) drilled on the property this past winter. Highlights included hole FN-22-003, which intersected 113.55 metres grading 0.41% nickel, 0.01% copper, 0.006 gram gold per tonne, 0.033 gram platinum, and 0.096 gram palladium starting from 284.3 metres downhole.
That hole, the company said, was drilled to test the downdip extension of nickel mineralization in the North Limb deposit beyond the previously drilled maximum depth of 250 meters from surface. Flying Nickel Mining has a market cap of $12.4 million.
Grounded Lithium (TSXV: GRD) is a Calgary-headquartered resource company focused on lithium extraction from the production of subsurface lithium brines.
In July, the Canadian junior announced that it had started drilling its first 100%-owned test well on the Kindersley lithium project in western Saskatchewan. The well is located within the PrairieSky Royalty’s (TSX: PSK) Brine Metallic and Industrial Minerals work permit.
Grounded Lithium said that the well, which will target key zones determined by its geological model, will enable it to earn nearby sections pursuant to the terms of the permit.
Commenting in a Sept. 12 press release, Gregg Smith, the company’s president and CEO, said that it “took measured steps to build our current land position, capitalize the company and set the stage or foundation from which to build,” adding that it will now turn its attention “to delivering results from our field activities to further prove the value proposition of our Saskatchewan lithium brine project.”
According to Grounded Lithium, the test well’s design allows for an inexpensive and quick turnaround to convert it to a producing well that will either service a field pilot and/or ultimately form part of a more comprehensive well portfolio that supplies feedstock to a commercial plant.
The test well, it said, will achieve a two-fold purpose: provide current samples to test lithium concentrations at Kindersley, and confirm the reservoir quality and associated brine deliverability on a per well basis. Grounded Lithium has a market cap of $14.8 million.
MAS Gold (TSXV: MAS) is a Canadian explorer focused on advancing its gold projects in the La Ronge gold belt of Saskatchewan.
The company operates six properties in the belt, including Preview-North, Greywacke Lake, Preview SW, Contact Lake, Elizabeth Lake, and Henry Lake totalling 351.8 sq. km. These properties extend along the geologically prospective La Ronge, Kisseynew and Glennie Domains that make up the La Ronge gold belt in the north-central region of the province.
MAS currently has five advanced deposits including the North Lake, Greywacke North, Preview SW, Bakos (Contact Lake) and Point gold deposits.
In August, the Saskatoon-headquartered company released the remaining assays from 30 drill holes as part of its 2022 winter drill program on La Ronge. These included 22 holes from North Lake, four from Point, and four from the Previous SW property.
Highlights from the drilling included hole NL22-101 at North Lake, which intersected 3 metres grading 8.79 grams gold per tonne from 54 metres downhole, including 1 metre at 7 grams gold; RM22-060 on Point, which returned 4.9 metres of 3 grams gold from 48.5 metres, including 0.8 metre at 6.65 grams gold; and PR22-188 on Preview SW, which hit 1.6 metres of 13.4 grams gold from 142.6 metres, including 0.7 metre at 8.85 grams gold and 1 metre at 9.47 grams gold.
“We are extremely excited by the positive results we have received from our winter drill program,” Darren Slugoski, the company’s chief geologist, said in an Aug. 9 press release announcing the results.
He added that NL22-101 “confirms a southern extension of the deposit as well as an additional potential high-grade zone. The results from the Point deposit demonstrate a strong potential for a significant upside with 295 metres of untested ground between the southern edge of the Point deposit and drill hole RM22-060.”
MAS Gold has a market cap of $14 million.
Recently listed on the TSX Venture Exchange, NiCAN (TSXV: NICN) is focused on developing nickel-copper exploration projects in known mineral belts in Canada. These include the 56.8-sq.-km Wine property in the highly prospective Flin Flon-Snow Lake greenstone belt of Manitoba, about 50 km southwest of Snow Lake, and the 24.6-sq.-km Pipy property, about 15 km north of Vale’s (NYSE: VALE) Thompson nickel mine.
In September, the Toronto-headquartered junior released assay results from its first two drill holes at Wine. Hole 22-05 intersected three distinct zones of mineralization, including 27.3 metres grading 2.01% nickel, 1.81% copper, 0.09% cobalt, 0.2 gram gold per tonne, and 0.28 gram palladium (2.61% nickel equivalent) starting from 43 metres downhole.
Hole Wine-22-02 cut four zones of mineralization including 2.8 metres grading 1.87% nickel, 0.64% copper, 0.08% cobalt, and 0.46 gram palladium (2.08% nickel equivalent) from 45.8 metres.
NiCAN said that these holes were part of its initial 17-hole, 1,600-metre diamond drill program at Wine and were drilled to better understand the thickness and orientation of mineralization encountered in historic exploration and as a guide to future drilling on the property.
Commenting in a Sept. 8 press release announcing the drill results, Brad Humphrey, the company’s president and CEO, said that the drilling “was designed to improve our understanding of the Wine Occurrence, confirm the mineralization encountered in the historical drilling and determine the orientation of the mineralized body. Intersecting multiple zones containing high nickel equivalent values is very encouraging.”
The initial 2022 exploration of Wine also included an airborne geophysical survey, partial resampling of a historical drill hole, and downhole geophysical (electro-magnetic) surveys, with the initial drill results used to refine the geological model and to design the second phase of exploration on the property, said NiCAN.
NiCAN has a market cap of $12.5 million.