A first-hand look at Equitas Resources’ quest for Labrador nickel
by Sean Kingsley
The September 15 announcement that Equitas Resources TSXV:EQT closed a private placement first tranche of $1.03 million followed a report from the field by corporate communications manager Sean Kingsley. After a three-day trip from Vancouver, Kingsley arrived at the Garland nickel project in Labrador sans luggage, thanks to Air Canada, but brimming with enthusiasm. He provides this account.
Some know this of me and I always thought it of myself since I was young—I am extremely scared of heights. During lift-off on the trips to Toronto, Asia and Europe I chew at least three pieces of gum, pop an Ativan and hold onto the armrests. Once in the air I need ginger ale mixed with something stronger. I don’t do well on planes but after the four rides in different-sized planes and a few helicopter rides I’m more than eager to get out to the field to explore Equitas’ Garland property.
A couple days ago I spent a whole shift out in the rolling hills, cliffs and bushes with Crone, the geophysical crew. There were seven of us that split up into three groups. I got to traverse the lay of the land with geophysicists Eldon Roul and Ryan Metcalfe. Jeremy Haak and Nick MacKay were set up on the hill to our left. Plan of attack would be to head straight down and across with the GPS until we reached another team or destination. Through tree branches, cliffs, hills and bushes the goal was to keep the line as straight as can be.
Most of these guys have spent time in many different nickel camps which include the Raglan, Norilsk, Thompson and over in Greenland, but these hills were a whole ’nother event for them. Not to mention on their backs were harnesses packed with 400 metres of 10-gauge lines which weighs in about 50 pounds each. I attempted to start off with harnessing myself up with a line pack but opted into carrying the 40-pound lunch-and-survival backpack.
You can’t see the other team across the valley but William Decker (Nain, Labrador) and Caley Loft had the challenge of going down a near 60-degree cliff. Not only that, they could only carry one harness spool, so once their 400 metres ran out they had to backtrack for more line.
Exploration work is not an easy job. I have a new-found level of respect for all that work in mineral exploration camps worldwide.
When I get back to the office I’ll upload some GoPro videos of us bushwhacking straight across the valleys and cliffs. Internet reception is limited and has not been our camp’s best friend so we try to conserve usage. Where we got dropped off is where the transmitter will stay for a couple days for them to do the surveys once the loops are completed. Once the data is collected it gets sent over to the Crone office in Ontario where they compile it completely. Then EQT sends it over to our consulting geophysicist Alan King.
Little note here: I’ve been re-reading the book The Big Score (the tell-all story of the Robert Friedland, Inco and Voisey’s Bay story) while up here in the Big Land and have come across several names of individuals who were a big part of its developments that are now a part of our developments. Before Inco committed to go forward with a minority stake of 25% in Friedland’s Diamond Fields they wanted to make sure the Voisey’s high-grade nickel discovery was for real. They sent in their Operation Green Team, which was made up of conservative geologist Ed Pattison and two men from Inco’s Engineering Building, Alan King, manager of geophysics, and Paul Golightly, a senior research geologist. It was their job to be as skeptical as possible.
Sure enough, after their thorough site visit they reported back to Inco’s Michael Sopko that it was the real deal. At the time they could only estimate that Voisey’s Bay held 10% more than Diamond Fields’ estimated 25 million tonnes. To date we know Voisey’s totalled 141 million tonnes.
There’s quite a few camp personnel here who have worked at Archean Resources, Voisey’s Bay, Inco, Vale and also on projects of great success. All of us here at camp have gotten along tremendously and are hoping and praying that the drillers come in and prove Equitas’ theory. In the meantime I’m hoping Canadian Helicopters’ HQ will give approval to strap the GoPro camera onto the outside of the helicopter so we can do a property fly-over. Crossing my fingers.
P.S.: If you get to make your way up to camp, make sure you bring a bug jacket. There be bugs in dem hills!