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“The Garland area has breccia events with evidence of high-temperature assimilation of sulphur-source country rocks, akin to processes at Voisey’s Bay. An island exposure in the bay between the properties exhibits angular fragments of Voisey’s Bay troctolite, indicating an extension of the Voisey’s Bay intrusion towards Garland. Finally, regional and property-scale mapping have indicated the intrusive history and emplacement depths at Garland to be very similar to Voisey’s, capped by flat-lying younger cover rocks.”
While awaiting the VTEM-plus results, Makela looks forward to a summer of field follow-up work to guide exploration drilling. So does Equitas president Kyler Hardy, who calls the VTEM-plus a “game-changer” for Labrador’s Nain plutonic suite. Having raised over $780,000 in two financings this year, he says the company’s well-funded to carry out its plans.
When considering the clusters of deposits in major nickel camps such as Sudbury, Norilsk, Thompson and Raglan, the likelihood of discovering more Voisey’s Bay-type deposits in the region is high. The reality is that, after 20 years of exploration by scores of companies combing the surface, the remaining prospective environments are buried.—Everett Makela,
VP of exploration for
Hardy sees a bright future for nickel. “Right now we’re just keeping up with demand, or maybe we’re a bit oversupplied,” he says. “But the world economy is very slow right now. Once we right ourselves, and it looks like that’s starting to happen, I think the demand for nickel and nickel-related products will increase substantially. I think we’re looking at two to five years for prices to really start to improve substantially.”
As for demand from the Asian giant, “Rumour has it, as well as research papers, that China has depleted its supply substantially. Of all the metals, nickel is near the bottom of China’s self-sufficiency.” Even if Indonesia were to return to its former level of exports, they’d cover just part of Chinese demand, Hardy adds.
Meanwhile “most North American nickel production, especially on the eastern seaboard, stays in North America or goes to Europe. I think there are very few projects that have been developed to fill nickel’s resource depletion. The majors have been very slim on nickel exploration, especially in North America. There are some juniors doing good work, but we haven’t got to a point where we can replace the reserves being depleted. Mines in the Sudbury and Thompson camps are nearing the end of their productive life cycles.”
Apart from Garland, Equitas benefits from a tight structure of strategic partners and shareholders who own over 60% of the company. As a major shareholder, Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC helped put Equitas together, also bringing marketing and financing connections. Another major shareholder represented on Equitas’ board is Yield Gold, a subsidiary of China’s largest gold producer and second-largest copper producer, Zijin Mining Group. Zijin’s acquisitiveness has made recent news with its $81-million investment in Pretium Resources TSX:PVG and $105-million stake in Friedland’s Ivanhoe Mines TSX:IVN.
“We’re continuing discussions with Yield to determine what the next stage is in working with them and how to increase that relationship,” Hardy says. Other significant shareholders include Dahrouge Geological, a couple of funds and Hardy himself. “I put my money where my mouth is.”
Additionally Equitas has other possible projects under review, currently one in South America and two in Canada. “We want to diversify our risk profile as well as take advantage of the depressed resource markets,” he says. “Again, it’ll be focused on nickel-cobalt-PGMs, the magmatic ultramafic projects.”
Meanwhile Hardy, Makela and company look forward to seeing Garland’s geophysical results and planning the next stage of exploration in Voisey’s vicinity.
Disclaimer: Zimtu Capital Corp is a client of OnPage Media Corp, the publisher of ResourceClips.com. The principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Zimtu Capital.
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