Tartisan Nickel Corp. Announces Intention to Commence Normal Course Issuer Bid to Repurchase up to 5% of Its Common Shares
Tartisan Nickel Corp (CSE:TN)(OTCQX:TTSRF)(FSE:A2D) is a Canadian battery metals exploration and development company focused on developing the Kenbridge nickel–copper–cobalt project located in Northwestern Ontario, Canada. Tartisan Nickel Corp., through Minera Tartisan Peru S.A.C, is also beginning a bulk sampling program at the Don Pancho property in Peru. The company additionally owns the Sill Lake silver–lead property in Sault St. Marie, Ontario. The company has an equity stake in: Eloro Resources Ltd (TSXV:ELO), plus a 2 percent net smelter return (NSR) on the La Victoria asset in Peru; Class 1 Nickel & Technologies Inc. (CSE:NICO) plus a 0.5 percent NSR on the Alexo-Kelex asset; and Peruvian Metals Corp. (TSXV:PER).
Kenbridge Deposit Highlights
Kenbridge Deposit Mineral Resource Estimates
Tartisan Nickel Corp. published (Sedar: September 17, 2020) a NI 43-101 updated mineral resource estimate that outlined a combined open-pit and underground measured and indicated resource of 7.58 Mt at 0.58 percent nickel and 0.32 percent copper for a total of 95 million pounds of contained nickel. An additional 0.985 Mt at 1 percent nickel and 0.62 percent copper (22 million pounds of contained nickel) were calculated as inferred mineral resources. Details of the mineral resource estimate are shown in Table 1.
Open at depth and along strike the Kenbridge Deposit hosts a 622 meter shaft and increased grades at depth.
Tartisan Nickel’s Flagship Project: Kenbridge Deposit
In 2018 Tartisan Nickel underwent a strategic review of how the Company would move forward in light of weak investment in metals markets. At the time there appeared to be an emerging electric vehicle (EV) movement which Tartisan Nickel thought was going to become a driving force in the metals market. This thinking lead to a merger with Canadian Arrow Mines Limited, a junior explorer which owned the Kenbridge Nickel Deposit in northwestern Ontario.
The Kenbridge deposit was discovered in 1937 by Coniagas and is located in Kenora, Ontario between Fort Frances and Dryden. Falconbridge Limited acquired the property in 1952, began construction in 1954 with a subsequent mining operation lasting for 2.5 years. A 609 metre deep shaft with two working levels were developed and a bulk sample was extracted. At that time, there was no feasible way to move the ore to facilities, so it was shut down in 1958. The project sat dormant until 2007 when Canadian Arrow acquired the property, completed a 40,000 metre drill campaign and proceeded to establish a NI 43-101 Resource Estimate & Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA). (2008, 2010)
The Kenbridge Deposit is located in a stable political and mining friendly region (New Gold’s Rainy River Gold Deposit is located 80 km to the south) and has all season road access to within 9 kilometres of the deposit. Although the Company views the 2008 PEA as historical, the underlying resource provides an excellent base from which to work. Previous metallurgical work completed by Canadian Arrow highlighted excellent recoveries and metallurgical properties for the outlined mineralization. The 2008 PEA envisioned a 2,800 tonnes per day combined open pit and UG operation with a capital expenditure of $108 million. The report had outlined a resource of 98 million pounds of nickel and 47 million pounds of copper.
Additionally, there are several untested exploration targets on the property, such as the Kenbridge North target that holds similar geophysical characteristics to the Kenbridge Deposit.
Tartisan Nickel recently commissioned an update of the nickel resource based on current metal prices and dollar exchange rates.
The company recently provided an update from the ongoing 10,000 metre diamond drilling program at the 100 percent owned Kenbridge Nickel Project. The Phase 1 drill campaign, utilizing 2 drill rigs, is approximately 90 percent completed. One drill has been mobilized to the Kenbridge North target where it will complete 3 planned drill holes, approximately 500 meters each drill hole. The Kenbridge North target was identified from a ground based Time Domain Electromagnetic (TDEM) survey completed in early 2021 and is interpreted to represent similar rock types that host the Kenbridge Nickel Deposit.
In February 2022, Tartisan announced it has acquired an additional 27 claims contiguous to the Kenbridge Nickel-Copper Deposit in northwest Ontario, approximately 60 km southeast of Kenora, Ontario. The total property size now consists of 142 patented and unpatented staked units covering 2,637ha.
Kenbridge Resource Estimate
In 2008, Canadian Arrow, the property’s previous owner, published an NI 43-101 resource estimate that outlined a combined open-pit and underground, historic measured and indicated resource of 7.14 million tonnes at 0.62 percent nickel, 0.33 percent copper. This is supported by an inferred resource of 118,000 tonnes at 1.38 percent nickel and 0.87 percent copper.
In 2021, Tartisan Nickel provided an update on the 10,000 metre diamond drilling program with two drill machines at the Kenbridge project. The company intersected 25.6 Metres Of 1.03 percent Ni, 0.41 percent Cu Including 2.7 Metres Of 2.76 percent Ni, 0.88 percent Cu.
The program is designed to target the down dip and along strike extension of the Kenbridge Ni-Cu Deposit. The Company additionally plans to test the Kenbridge North target with diamond drilling during this current drill campaign. The Kenbridge North target is located approximately 2.5 kilometres north of the Kenbridge Nickel Deposit and was identified from a ground based Time Domain Electromagnetic (TDEM) survey completed in early 2021. The Kenbridge North target is interpreted to represent similar rock types that host the Kenbridge Nickel Deposit. This combined with the EM signature, Kenbridge North is a high priority drill target similar to the Kenbridge Nickel Deposit model (SEDAR, May 5, 2021).
Aster Funds Survey of Kenbridge Nickel Project
Tartisan CEO Mark Appleby said, “the survey picked out the Kenbridge Deposit and has shown the possible extension to the Kenbridge Deposit and three additional trends that relate directly to underlying geology and structure implicit in the Kenbridge Deposit. Of significant interest, the survey found two gold trends as well, which include the Violet and Nina historic gold occurrences. One of the occurrences is almost 54 hectares in size and covers almost all of three of our staked claims on the border of the Kenbridge property.”
TVM Map for Nickel on the Kenbridge Project
Since the original magnetic survey by Falconbridge Nickel in 1955, approximately 10 detailed geophysical surveys have been conducted over the Kenbridge deposit and property, but none were deep-seeking geophysical studies,” said Tartisan Nickel CEO Mark Appleby. “Since our purchase of the Canadian Arrow assets in February 2018, we have undertaken a careful review of the asset. Our geophysical programs should put our whole geophysical database into a real discovery context so that when we go to drill the Kenbridge property, we will have the best possible target definition.”
The new 43-101 resource report is also expected to make recommendations for advancement of the Kenbridge project including additional exploration based on the above survey results and studies directed at the development of the deposit into a mining operation and requirements to advance it to that stage technically and in compliance with regulations.
Don Pancho Property
The Don Pancho Project is in a prolific polymetallic mineral belt in central Peru with several operating mines in the area including the world class Iscaycruz and Yauliyacu polymetallic mines operated by GlencoreXtrata Plc located 50 kilometers to the north-northwest. Additionally, Trevali Mining Corporation’s Santander silver-lead-zinc mine is located 9 kilometers to the east and Buenaventura’s silver-lead-zinc Uchucchacua mine is located 63 kilometers to the north, (10 million ounces of silver produced in 2011). Infrastructure is considered excellent with ready access and a power line crosses the property enroute to the Santander mine.
The Don Pancho deposit was first identified in 1997 and was acquired by application in 2007. To date, $1.5 million has been spent on exploring the property, including extensive surface mapping and sampling. Additionally, a previous owner, Stellar Mining, also conducted a 2,021-meter diamond drilling program across six holes, all of which intersected zinc-lead-silver mineralizations. Results from this drilling program included grades of up to 4.4 percent zinc, 3.3 percent lead and 61 g/t silver over 1.15 meters and outlined an 800 meter by 200 meter exposed breccia zone on the property.
Upcoming exploration plans
Having analyzed the work conducted on the property to date, Tartisan believes that the next round of exploration should be conducted with drilling at right angles of the previous holes.
“The Company is excited to start a new phase of exploration targeting lead-zinc-silver-manganese mineralization along this extensive altered brecciated zone,” said Tartisan CEO Mark Appleby. “Besides being located in a prolific polymetallic belt, having a better understanding of the structural controls for locating new mineralized zones and the recent renewed interest in zinc, the Don Pancho property is a great opportunity for our company.”
Sill Lake Lead-Silver Property, Ontario
The Company purchased a 100 percent interest in 13 single cell mining claims in the Vankoughnet Township of Sault Ste. Marie Mining District in Ontario, comprising the Sill Lake Project covering 372.8 ha.The purchase of the Sill Lake Lead-Silver claims is in keeping with the company’s strategy of acquiring advanced properties with long term potential. Sill Lake is an excellent project to generate shareholder value in the short term through exploration and resource development.
The Sill Lake Lead-Silver Project consists of 13 single cell mining claims and four boundary cell claims which represents 372.8 hectares. Lead-silver mineralization was discovered at Sill Lake in 1892, when a 30m adit was driven to a 17m internal shaft, with approximately 40m of lateral development to exploit a lead-silver vein. This was later defined by other explorers including some 3750m of diamond drilling along a defined steeply dipping mineralized trend some 850m in length, with mineralized widths varying between 1.5m and 4.5m. The Project has seen two distinct periods of underground development and production and it is estimated that 7,000 tonnes of ore containing lead and silver were mined. In 2010, a historical NI 43-101 Technical Report gave a measured and indicated mineral resource of 112,751 tonnes at 134 g/t silver; 0.62 percent lead, and 0.21 percent zinc. The historical resource estimate used a silver cutoff grade of 60 g/t; but no cutoff grade for the base metal content was used.
The Company has completed a Spectral Analysis survey and a Synthetic Aperture Radar survey over the Sill Lake Lead-Silver Project in early 2020. The most abundant minerals on the Sill Lake mining claims were seen to be saponite, a clay mineral from hydrothermal alteration as well as orthoclase feldspar and kaolinite, the hydrothermal alteration product of orthoclase. Principal minerals characteristic of the lead-silver vein were determined to be galena and goethite. Galena is the principal ore mineral of the low-alpha lead on the Sill Lake Project, which goethite is the principal alteration product of sulphides like galena.
As the report notes, “In the centre of the Sill Lake Claims the lead-silver deposit and underground workings are located. The spectral analysis survey outlined a number of minerals spatially associated with the deposit. Using the Target Vector Mineral (“TVM”) overlap technique for the Sill lake Claims a number of areas of where three and four TVM’s overlaps were outlined. One area on the claims outlined a general north-south TVM lead-silver target zone from 65m to 190m wide and approximately 650m in length.”
Claim Map with Geology, Drilling and Occurances:
Target Areas on the Sill Lake Claims for Precious Metals, From Aster Survey
Eloro Resources (TSXV:ELO)
Iska Iska Polymetallic Property
In October 2019, Eloro signed an option to aquire 100 percent of the Iska Iska Property in Bolivia covering 900 hectares in the resource rich Potosi Department. Iska Iska is a road accessible, royalty-free property, wholly-owned by the Title Holder and is located 48 km north of Tupiza city, in the Sud Chichas Province of the
Department of Potosi. The Property can be classified as a polymetallic (Ag, Zn, Pb, Au, Cu, Bi, Sn, In) epithermal-porphyry complex, which overprints an early higher temperature xenothermal phase.
Geological mapping on the Property has revealed the spatial and temporal zonation of alteration and vein minerals in an area of about 5 square kilometres through the property area.
In August 2019, Eloro performed preliminary evaluation work at Iska Iska that included geological mapping and sampling, whereby 42 channel samples were collected. All of the channel samples included altered wall rock with widths ranging between 1.20 to 5.55m, averaging 2.90 m. Four underground workings were sampled, including the Huayra Kasa which has two branches, one bearing a W-NW direction and the second oriented in a North-South direction, with the latter appearing to be more enriched in gold.
Additionally, the Santa Barbara, Porco and Mine 2 adits were sampled, together with two sectors on surface. Chemical assays were performed at the ALS Laboratory in both Oruro, Bolivia (preparation) and in Lima, Peru (analysis).
Located in Central Peru, the property sits within a 300-kilometer andean belt which hosts world-class, low-cost gold producers including Tahoe Resources Inc (TSX:THO) and Barrick Gold Corp (TSX:ABX). It is supported by excellent infrastructure including road access, water supply and an industrial power corridor within 4.3 kilometers of the site. The property sits at elevations ranging from 3,000 to 4,500 meters above sea level, nearby the population centers of Huandoval, Pallasca and Cabana.
Mineralization on La Victoria
The La Victoria property is made up of nine registered mining concessions and has shown five primary mineralization zones that have been the focus of Eloro’s exploration activities: San Markito, Rufina, Victoria, Victoria South and Ccori Orcco.
The vein systems on the property measure between 20 meters to 70 meters wide and up to 500 meters long, running in a northwest to southeast direction.
Since acquiring the property at the end of 2016, Eloro has conducted a series of geological mapping, geophysical survey and sampling activities. Results helped to further identify the drilling targets for the company’s first phase of drilling.
Acquisition of Additional Nickel-Copper Claims in Northwest Ontario
The Company has acquired a 100 percent interest in the Glatz, Night Danger Nickel-Copper Claims located approximately 70 kms from the Company’s flagship Kenbridge Nickel Deposit. The property is situated in an area of excellent infrastructure and consists of 16 claim units. The 16 claim unit property hosts the historical Glatz and Night Danger nickel-copper showings. Previous exploration efforts identified nickel-copper sulphide mineralization in twelve trenches along a 700 metre trend at the Glatz nickel copper showing.
Class 1 Nickel & Technologies Inc (CSE:NICO): Alexo-Kelex Nickel Project
The Company signed a Definitive Purchase Agreement with Class 1 Nickel & Technologies Inc. of Perth, Western Australia, formally “VaniCom”, for the sale of a 100 percent interest in the Alexo-Kelex Nickel Project located near Timmins, Ontario. The Alexo-Kelex Project produced 30,138 tonnes of ore averaging 1.92 percent nickel containing 1.3 million pounds of nickel in 2004 and 2005. Historically, the Alexo Deposit produced an additional 57,000 tonnes at 3.6% nickel for a total of 4.5 million pounds of contained nickel.
The Alexo-Kelex Project contains an NI 43-101 compliant resource of some 243,000 tonnes of 1.08 percent nickel for a contained 5.775 million pounds of nickel. The resource also contains 268,000 pounds of copper and some 202,000 lbs of cobalt at lower grades.
The deposits are classified as Kambalda-style named after similar type-deposits occurring in Western Australia. The Alexo and Kelex deposits are composed of massive to semi-massive nickel sulphide accumulations inhabiting basal embayments along the footwalls of steeply dipping komatiitic ultramafic volcanic flows. The massive, semi-massive sulphides are overlain by stringer, net-textured, blebby and lower grade disseminated sulphide haloes extending upwards and away from the contact. The flows contact with intermediate volcanic country rocks. Other komatiitic hosted nickel sulphide deposits and occurrences in the area include the Redstone, McWatters, Hart, Langmuir 1 and 2, and Texmont.
Peruvian Metals Corp. (TSXV:PER)
Peruvian Metals (TSXV:PER) owns an 80 percent interest in the Aguila Norte Process Plant that is strategically located just off the Pan American highway, near Peru’s second largest city, Trujillo. Abundant small-scale mining activity occurs in northern Peru but there are very few independent processing facilities available. The Aguila Norte mineral processing plant hosts crushing, milling, gravity separation and flotation circuits with an initial throughput capacity of 100 tonnes per day. Peruvian Metals is currently processing high-grade polymetallic material and delivering high-value concentrates available for sale to the Peruvian metal trading market for miners. Peruvian Metals and its experienced Peruvian team have been identifying multiple sources of mineral feed to fill the initial process plant capacity. The company is well advanced to receive full permits and licenses which will enable the expansion of the Aguila Norte Process Plant. Expansion is expected to be funded via internal cash flow from plant profitability.
Turtle Pond Area Claims
Tartisan Nickel acquired additional claims in the Turtle Pond Area, Northwestern Ontario, approximately 40 km south of Dryden, Ontario. The total property size now consists of 85 staked units covering 1,732.35 ha and the claims are located approximately 70 kms east of the Company’s flagship Kenbridge Nickel Deposit. The property is situated in an area of excellent infrastructure and consists of 85 claim units and hosts the historical Glatz, Double E and Night Danger nickel-copper showings.
D. Mark Appleby – President & CEO, Director
Mr. Appleby was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of Tartisan Nickel Corp. in December 2010. Mr. Appleby has over 30 years of experience in a variety of disciplines relating to investment banking, corporate finance and the capital markets. Mr. Appleby’s career began in 1983, where he served as an intern at Manulife in the equity and fixed income departments. In 1987 he joined First Boston Canada Ltd., where he reached the position of Vice-President-Bond Trading. Subsequently, Mr. Appleby has worked as an investment executive with Scotia Mcleod Inc., and is co-founder of The Atlantis Group, a Company specializing in a variety of disciplines including the resource sector. Mr. Appleby was also a Director of Guyana Goldfields Inc. [TSX: GUY] for five years.
Aamer Siddiqui – CFO
Aamer Siddiqui is a Manager of Financial Reporting as MSSI. He is a Chartered Professional Accountant and Chartered Accountant who began his career working in public accounting with one of Ontario’s largest external audit firms. He has years of experience providing financial advisory, budgeting, Canadian tax and assurance services to a wide range of clients. He has extensive experience helping fast growing companies manage their reporting requirements as well as providing valuable insight to aid in management’s strategic decisions.
Yves P. Clement – Director
Mr. Clement is a professional geologist with over 28 years’ experience in the generation, evaluation and development of a wide variety of mineral resources hosted by a broad spectrum of geological environments in Canada, South America, and West Africa. He has held Exploration Manager and VP, Exploration positions in several countries, and has extensive joint venture generation / project management experience and hands-on exploration experience in Archean / Proterozoic greenstone and Andean Cordillera settings, including: greenstone – hosted lode / shear gold, volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS), magmatic Ni-Cu-PGM, low & high sulphidation epithermal Au – Ag, porphyry Cu – Mo & Au – Cu, Cu-Au skarn, Fe Oxide Cu–Au (IOCG), stratabound volcanic redbed copper (Manto-type), intrusion – related gold, and lateritic terranes.
Mr. Clement is currently VP, Exploration of Xtra-Gold Nickel Corp. (TSX: XTG), a junior mineral exploration company focused on gold exploration in Ghana, West Africa. Yves is fluent in Spanish and has extensive exploration / project management experience in Latin American countries, including: Peru, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Mexico. Prior to joining Xtra-Gold, he was VP, Exploration of Ginguro Exploration Inc. (TSX-V: GEG) and VP, Corporate Development of Golden Sierra Nickel Corp. (Private Issuer), where he was responsible for the generation of precious and base metal exploration opportunities in Chile and Ecuador. Mr. Clement received a Geological Engineering Technology diploma from Cambrian College of Applied Arts and Technology, Sudbury, Ontario; and is a member of the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario (“APGO”).
Douglas M. Flett, J.D. – Director
Douglas M. Flett, J.D., graduated from the University of Windsor Law School in 1972 and was called to the (Ontario) Bar in 1974. He practiced in his own corporate-commercial law firm until 1996 when he retired from practising law for a career in the resource industry. He continues to be a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. He has been a Director of KWG Resources Inc. (KWG:CNSX) since 2006. He is a past Director of Kenora Prospectors & Miners Ltd., and is past President and currently a Director of Fletcher Nickel Inc., and a Director of Debuts Diamonds Inc. Mr. Flett is a member of the Compensation and Audit Committees for Tartisan Nickel Corp. He has completed the Rotman Institute of Corporate Directors SME Program.
Thomas Larsen – Advisor
Thomas Larsen is an executive in the resources sector with over 40 years of experience in the investment industry, specializing in corporate finance and management of junior resource companies, raising in excess of $150 million. Mr. Larsen is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Eloro Resources Ltd. and Cartier Iron Corporation. Additionally, Mr. Larsen previously held the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of Champion Iron Limited.
Dean MacEachern – Advisor
Mr. MacEachern has thirty years of exploration experience, seventeen of which were with Falconbridge Limited (now Glencore), where he was involved with significant nickel, copper and zinc discoveries in the Sudbury and Timmins mining camps. He coordinated numerous base and precious metals exploration programs at several of the world’s major operating nickel copper zinc and PGM mining camps, including the Sudbury, Thompson and Abitibi Nickel Camps, the Kidd Creek VMS Camp in Canada and, the Bushveld PGM Camp in South Africa. He has been involved in developing projects with junior exploration companies in Canada, South America, and Europe for base and precious metal. Mr. MacEachern was the former President & CEO of Canadian Arrow Mines Limited.
Ronald Wortel – Advisor
Mr. Wortel is a finance executive with over 20 years of experience in resource project analysis, transaction due diligence and financing. Starting in 1997, Mr. Wortel provided equity research coverage on the mining equity sector for sell side investment banks: National Bank, Dundee Capital and Northern Securities. Initially he covered the major gold companies and transitioned to the junior resource sector with an emphasis on near term production stories. In 2006, he joined Pathway Asset Management, a resource fund providing flow through funding to exploration companies. Here Mr. Wortel reviewed hundreds of gold and other resource projects as the fund placed over $1 billion into the sector.