Gold is taking centre stage as the world struggles with the Covid-19 pandemic and over the course of the last year; gold has gone from $1267 USD up to as high as $1789 USD. Deposits that were once uneconomic are being revisited and with gold being forecasted to hit record highs in the months and years to come, we should see an influx of exploration dollars being put into ground. Top tier miners will be looking for new projects as they will be looking to capitalize on the higher POG and projects like MacDonald Mines, SPJ Project, could become a very attractive opportunity.
Macdonald Mines (TSX.V-BMK) SPJ Project is located in the mining friendly jurisdiction of Sudbury, Ontario. The general area is highly prospective for IOCG deposits and the team believes they are in the early stages of a discovery. The property is encompassing, or in close proximity, to 3 past producing mining operations in the Scadding Mine, Norstar Mine and the Crystal Mine which all remain open for additional exploration. Macdonald Mines’ main focus has been the Scadding Mine since last fall when they hit bonanza grade gold in the first phase of their campaign however the company has not lost sight of the overall potential.
We were fortunate enough to be on site in late 2019, present when they found visible gold on an outcrop that was previously unknown in the eastern part of the property. Our main takeaways from our site visit to the Macdonald Mines SPJ property are; the significant exploration potential that exists across the 18,340 hectare land package and that the geological team is very active and has a great understanding of the structures controlling the mineralization on the property. There are still permits in place at the Scadding Mine which would make it easier to put into production once they have completed their 43-101. With potential for high grade gold intercepts, BMK is poised to have an excellent year if they can expand on the known deposits at the Scadding Mine and step out showing some continuity. As mentioned, the SPJ Project is a vast property open to greenfields discoveries in a mining friendly jurisdiction and there has been no shortage of visible gold, making for a very intriguing project.
Overview –The SPJ Project lies within the greater Sudbury district which is home to several operating mines. The project has access to road, rail and high-tension power lines and is maintained year-round. Local aboriginal groups are pro-mining allowing for good relations with exploration companies throughout the region.
IOCG Potential – IOCG systems are renowned for their potential to generate a large variety of economical deposits. This includes high-grade gold deposits like those of the Tennant Creek Inlier (Australia). This district has been labelled by the Geological Survey of Canada in 2007 as highly prospective area for deposits formed in hydrothermal systems that can form IOCG deposits and MacDonald Mines own a significant amount of land with several past producing mines.
SPJ Exploration – Surface sampling has turned up several overlooked mineralized zones within the Scadding mine property and additional areas in both the Jovan and Powerline properties. Early exploration suggests they may be into a much larger system than previously thought by past explorers and the company is eager to prove the IOCG model.
Backed by Sprott – Eric Sprott took an interest in MacDonald Mines when they first announced bonanza grade hits in the fall of last year. Bought through 2176423 Ontario Ltd. Eric became the owner of 18,750,000 shares valued at 8 cents for a total consideration of 1.5 million Dollars. He also holds 18,750,000 warrants, exercisable @ 11 cents for a period of 36 months.
Drilling – The Company has been very active in drilling on the Scadding property which is within the overall SPJ land package. Initial results have been nothing short of spectacular! In September the company announced a hit of 52 g/t Au over 12m at the North Pit location and when they went back to retest and extend the area, they hit 59.2 g/t Au over 19.07m at least 18m away from the original hit, suggesting some continuity of grade.
MacDonald Mines represent an inexpensive opportunity to gain exposure to gold with IOCG potential within a mining friendly jurisdiction. With a Market cap of only $12.85M the company does not reflect the value and upside potential of its assets. The company has approximately $1.3M working capital to fund their exploration after their most recent private placement and approximately $2M in warrants should they have some success. With a better understanding of the structures they will be much more focused in their approach in this year’s campaign. There could be significant upside should they expand the footprint of Scadding and begin to connect the structures over the overall property.
Upcoming Catalyst – Assays coming back from 8 holes around the north pit area.
MacDonald Mines Exploration Ltd. is a Canadian based precious metals explorer based in Toronto, Ontario and are primarily involved in the identification, acquisition and development of properties in Canada. Led by an experienced management and technical team, the company has built a portfolio of safe-jurisdiction, infrastructure-rich projects that demonstrate a good market potential for return. MacDonald is focused on advancing development at its SPJ Project, located approximately 40km East of Sudbury, Ontario.
Macdonald Mines opted to acquire the Scadding Mine property in April of last year, after encouraging results from their exploration efforts on the Jovan and Powerline properties in 2018. Channel and grab samples on the Powerline and Jovan, uncovered several zones of variably brecciated and mineralized albitites, that are similar to those found at the historic Scadding and Norstar mines. These zones are typically associated with polymetallic gold mineralization, and have been classified as a modified Iron Oxide Copper Goldsystem (“IOCG”)
The Company’s current exploration program is focused on extending known showings and discovering new gold-cobalt-copper-nickel-silver mineralized zones in this under-explored polymetallic district around the past-producing Scadding Mine.
Hydrothermal systems hosting IOCG or Iron Oxide Copper Gold Deposits are loosely associated with large magmatic provinces (mafic to felsic) and form at moderate to shallow depths. Systems hosting IOCG deposits were formed in many geological periods, but a flare of activity occurred during the Paleoproterozoic into the 1.1-1.8 billion year old range. Systems hosting IOCG deposits are invariably associated with crustal scale structures which penetrate deep into the earth’s crust, often reaching depths of 20 km and spanning over hundreds of kilometres. The key to these deposits is the formation of large water convection cells in the country rock mixing water coming from the crust, metamorphic reactions and intrusions. A variable combination of extreme water pressure on the rocks and tectonic stresses breaks, faults and brecciates the rocks, allowing a large volume of water to circulate in restricted areas of the crust and precipitate metals to form a large suite of mineral deposits.
The MacDonald Mine’s SPJ Project exhibits several indications of a large-scale hydrothermal system that have been identified by Chief Geologist, Jean-Francois Montreuil, building on the work of the Geological Survey of Canada. Outcrops have been uncovered all over the property by BMK’s geological team, showing sodic alteration along with breccia zones infilled and replaced by iron-rich chlorite, quartz veins and black magnetite. The polymetallic nature of the rock was quite obvious when they started looking at all the grab samples they had collected since acquiring the property and it really gave them a better understanding of the overall potential of the deposit.
To be clear, deposits formed in IOCG systems really cover a multitude of variations in metal associations and in a sense form a large family of polymetallic deposits for which a systematic classification and nomenclature system is not yet established. Deposits within the same or between systems have highly variable metal content, ranging from pure iron with possible REE deposits like we see in Kiruna (Sweden) and Marcona (Peru), cobalt-copper-gold deposits like present in the Idaho’s Cobalt Belt (United States) and the Kuusammo district (Finland), gold-rich deposits like those of the Tennant Creek Inlier (Australia) and the Tick Hill Deposit of the Mount Isa Inlier (Australia), to predominantly copper-gold as you see in Chile and copper/uranium as seen in Australia. Two of the world’s largest districts are Carajas in Brazil, which holds 18,000,000,000 tons of economic ore and the Olympic Copper-gold province in Australia which hosts the Olympic Dam deposit. They also vary in size to a great extent ranging from billions of tons of ore, down to a few million. Not all deposits formed in IOCG systems are low grade large tonnage and some can contain a few million tons but with much higher metal grades.
In the case of MacDonald Mines, their deposit could potentially extend right off of their 18,340 hectare land package to the north and south. Transition Metals recently acquired an IOCG property to the north of Lake Wanapitei on trend with the Crystal mine, the Scadding mine and Powerline property. Their CEO Scott Mclean, is on record as saying that Transition Metals believes that Macdonald Mines interpretation of the local geology falls in line with their beliefs and could extend right across both of their properties. This is also in line with the Geological Survey of Canada, as they have already assessed the area as a having potential for IOCG type deposits.
Exploration on the SPJ project started in 2018 when MacDonald Mines first acquired the Jovan and Powerline properties. Jovan is just 500m to the south of the past producing Norstar Mine which produced 15,000 ounces of gold from 63,000 tons of ore grading 7.2 g/t Au and 0.9% copper. The Powerline property is also located within a kilometre of a past producing mining operation in the Scadding Mine, which produced 144,000 tons of ore grading 7.43 g/t Au for a total of approximately 34,000 ounces.
After acquiring the properties, MacDonald Mines identified several structural corridors using a variety of data sources gathered from previous explorers, Ontario geological survey maps, localized soil surveys and reported historical assays from grab sampling and drilling. Highlights from historical grab sampling yielded gold grades up to 75 g/t, copper grades of up to 5.1% and cobalt grades in excess of over 1%.On the Jovan property, historical drilling suggested a potential for sizeable polymetallic mineralization highlighted by grades of 6.78 g/t Au, 0.79% Cu, and 0.1% Co over a span of 0.3 metres within a broader mineralized envelope of 0.36 g/t Au, 0.06% Cu and 0.01% Co over 19.3m at the Palkovitcs showing. It’s also important to note that the Ontario Geological Survey (OGS) took grab samples from the Norstar Mine waste piles which returned grades of cobalt ranging from .065-.30%. In close proximity to the Jovan property, the historic drilling presented below indicates a potential for high-grade gold mineralization.
Currie-Rose Showing Drill Highlights (Not currently owned by BMK, but adjacent to their claims)
Once a detailed review of the historical data was complete, MacDonald Mines’ geological team set out to do some exploration of their own. The company began channel sampling, surface prospecting for outcrops along with grab samples from across the Jovan and Powerline properties and as they expanded their program, they quickly confirmed historical results and successfully highlighted the potential of the SPJ Project to contain an IOCG-type of deposit. Here are the highlights from the 2018 exploration campaign.
Jovan (Brady Showing) Grab Sample Highlights
Jovan (Brady Showing) Channel Sample Highlights
Channel sampling on the Powerline Property revealed a significant cobalt-copper-gold anomaly in the bedrock that was exposed at surface with mechanized stripping. The mineralization was hosted in a breccia zone that was exposed in a cross-shaped trench that was traced for over 50 metres along both segments of the cross, and along the edges of the trench. At some of the edges of the trench and below cover, the quartz and iron carbonate alteration that cements the breccia transitions to chloritic alteration. This transition suggests that the zone of quartz and iron carbonate breccia could transition to the chloritic breccias that are shown to host the high-grade gold mineralization at the nearby Scadding Mine. The channel sample results also suggest that cobalt mineralization is related to cobaltiferous pyrite.
Powerline Property Channel Sample Highlights
Shortly after they completed their maiden exploration campaigns on both the Jovan and Powerline properties, it was obvious to the company that the geological features found on their properties coincided with that of both the Scadding and Norstar Mines and so they set out to acquire the Scadding Mine and expand their overall land package.
On April 30th, 2019, MacDonald Mines announced that they had signed an agreement to acquire the Scadding Mine site from Northern Sphere Mining Corp. and Currie Rose Resources. In order to satisfy the terms of the agreement BMK issued 10 million shares and $100,000 to Northern Sphere for their 51% interest in the Scadding Mine and 100 percent interest in the surrounding land claims. Currie Rose received 8 million shares and $50,000 for their 49% stake at the Scadding Mine. BMK is to incur a total of $1.8 million in exploration over the next 3 years. As part of the agreement, Currie Rose retains a 3% Net Smelter Return (NSR) on the property. Upon reaching commercial production, BMK agreed to pay Currie Rose $2,000,000 in exchange for a reduction of the NSR to 2.5% and an additional 1% of the NSR can be bought back for $1,000,000.
In August 2019, the company kicked of their inaugural, 2,000-metres drilling program at the Scadding Mine deposit in hopes of confirming historical results and expand on its footprint. To their delight they announced visible gold in their first two drill holes on August 22nd and on September 24th the company announced a hit of 52.02 g/t Au over 12.3 meters, including 210 g/t Au over 3 metres in hole SM2019-001. Indeed this was a big hit but it was in the area of the North pit where mineralization is known. However, the grades exceeded previous explorer’s results and the company needed to confirm historical grades. Either way it was an impressive hit for their first hole.
Eric Sprott took an interest in MacDonald Mines when they first announced the bonanza grade hits. Eric bought his shares through 2176423 Ontario Ltd. and became the owner of 18,750,000 shares valued at 8 cents for a total consideration of 1.5 million dollars. He also holds 18,750,000 warrants, exercisable @ 11 cents for a period of 36 months. This makes Sprott the largest shareholder of the company and he took his position at a higher price than what we are trading at today. Eric also brings in added support through his colleagues, connection and his following within the investing community.
Immediately after Sprott partook in a private placement, the company ramped up their drilling campaign to 10,000 meters and began exploring all over the immediate Scadding mine property. The drilling to date supports the hypothesis that gold mineralization in the Scadding Deposit is primarily controlled by a series of north- to north-northeast-oriented structures laterally distributed in a west to east corridor at least 500 metres wide and by folds in the sedimentary sequence that are forming good metal traps. Since the start of their drilling campaign the company has drilled a total of 37 holes to date and have 8 holes pending assays from the north pit area, aimed at extending the structure found in holes SM-2010-001 and SM-2020-026. A full list with a description of each hole can be found below.
SM-19-001 – Hit 3 Structures , 52.02 g/t Au over 12.3 m, Including 210.23 g/t Au over 3 m – 5.73 g/t Au over 5.5 m, including 17.17 g/t Au over 1.5 m and; -11.12 g/t gold over 7.3 m, including 77.16 g/t gold over 1 m.
SM-19-002 – Hit 2structures, 8.56 g/t Au over 7.63 m including 14.01 g/t over 4.21 m and -3.21 g/t over 15.29 m including 23.g/t over .87 m
SM-19-003 – Hit two 2 distinct gold structures, 11.10 g/t Au over 6.14 m and -3.29 g/t Au over 1.8 m.
SM-19-004 – Hit three 3 structures, a shallow zone containing 5.15 g/t Au over 3 m and -9.02g/t Au over 1.98 m and 3) 3.03 g/t Au over 1.37 m
SM-19-005 – Hit 3 distinct structures including, 7.75 g/t Au over 1.44 m -21.66 g/t Au over 1.64 m and -8.1 g/t Au over 1.9 m.
SM-19-006 – Hit 2 structures, 1.18 g/t Au over 2.55 m and -1.30 g/t Au over 4.23 m
SM-19-007 – Hit nothing of any significance – intersected diabase dyke where mineralization was projected to be
SM-19-008 – Hit 3.6 g/t Au over 6 m including 21.5 g/t Au over 0.8 m
SM-19-009 – Hit 4 structures, .09 g/t Au over 3.8 m including 2.1 g/t Au over 1 m -.30 g/t Au over 1 m -.10 g/t Au over 49.7 m including 1.7 g/t Au over 1 m -3.1 g/t Au over 1 m
SM 19-010 – Hit .40 g/t Au over 14.9 m including 2.1 g/t Au over 1 m
SM-19-011 – Hole Terminated in old drift
SM-19-012 – Hit 4 structures, 9.4 g/t Au over 4.9 including 35.7 g/t gold over 0.5 m and 24.1 g/t Au over 0.4 m – 1.7 g/t Au over 2.9 m -4.1 g/t Au over 3.8 m and -4.0 g/t Au over 9.4 m including 9.1 g/t Au over 0.9 m
SM 19-013 – Hit 0.66 g/t Au over 3.5 m
SM-19-014 – Hit 4.32 g/t Au over 4.5 m including 8.80 g/t Au over 1.1 m
SM-19-015 – No Significant results
SM-19-016 – Hit 2 structures, .78 g/t Au over 3.8 m and -12.10 g/t Au over 7.9 m including 71.10 g/t Au over 1 m
SM-19-017 – Hit 2.70 g/t Au over 11.6 m including 13.40 g/t Au over 1.3 m
SM-19-018 – Hit 3.99 g/t Au over 1.07 m
SM-19-019 – No significant grades
SM-19-020 – Hit .05 g/t Au over 13.2 m including .15 g/t Au over 2.3 m
SM-10-021 – Hit 2 structures, 0.33 g/t Au over 1.1 m and -0.14% Cu over 2.0 m
SM-19-022 – Hit near surface structures, 7.99 g/t Au over 26.2 m including 10.98 g/t Au over 4.98 m and 11.54 g/t over 13.24 m
SM-19-022 – Other half of cores tested, Intersected 18 g/t Au over 4.98 m including 12.4 g/t Au over 1 m, 5.30 g/t Au over .90 m, 18 g/t Au over 1.05 m, 9.58 g/t Au over 1.04 m and 47.72 g/t over .99 m
SM-19-023 – Hit Diabase Dyke
SM-19-024 – Hit 2 Structures, 0.67 g/t Au over 9.3 m including 2.88 g/t over 1 m and -0.50 g/t Au over 10 m including 1.31 g/t Au over 1.9 m and .11 g/t over 1.9 m
SM-19-025 – Hit a near-surface gold structure of 5.47 g/t Au over 4.5 m including 7.70 g/t Au over 2.8 m, .81 g/t over 1.6 m and 2.44 g/t over 1.9 m
SM-20-026 – Hit 59.2 g/t Au over 19.07 m including 376.8 g/t over 2.96 m, 25.1 g/t Au over 1.07 m, 411 g/t Au over .93 mand 735.5 Au over .96 m
SM-20-027 – SM-20-037 – Pending
SM-19-001 to SM-19-005 were drilled in the North Pit area of the Scadding Deposit. It covered a strike length of 100 metres and a down-dip extension of 100 metres and shows that the Zone remains open in all directions.
SM-19-006 and SM-19-007 tested the gap between the Scadding Mine and the North Pit. A new chlorite breccia zone was intersected in SM-19-006 that could represent the deeper extension of the Bristol Structure, 220 metres down-dip of SM-19-003.
SM-19-008 successfully intersected the down-dip extension of the Bristol and Monaco structures in the North Pit area. One speck of visible gold, in addition to variable pyrite and minor chalcopyrite mineralization, were observed in both the Bristol and Monaco structures in SM-19-008.
SM-19-009 tested a chlorite-bearing structure, located west of the Scadding Mine that is exposed near MacDonald Mines’ core logging facility on the Scadding Deposit. One speck of visible gold, variable pyrite and minor chalcopyrite mineralization were observed in the zone of chlorite in SM-19-009. Holes
SM-19-010, SM-19-011 and SM-19-012 were collared east of the Scadding Mine to test mineralization in the vicinity of the underground workings of the Scadding Mine. They intersected two new N-S structures – the Calabogie and Mosport structures that also host zones of chlorite alteration with variable pyrite and pyrrhotite, and minor chalcopyrite mineralization. Specks of visible gold were observed in the chlorite zone of the Mosport structure in SM-19-012. SM-19-011 had to be terminated before intersecting the Mosport structure as it went through the Scadding Mine underground development.
SM-19-012 also successfully intersected the northern and southern extension of the chlorite-bearing structure mined in the Scadding Mine – the Talladega Structure. This is suggesting that the zones of chlorite alteration associated gold mineralization in the Talladega Structure remains open in every direction outside of the underground developments of the Scadding Mine.
SM-19-013 tested the shallower extension of a chlorite structure located between the Scadding Mine and the EW-pit historically named the New Zone. The hole successfully intersected two structures hosting chlorite alteration containing variable pyrrhotite and pyrite, and minor chalcopyrite mineralization. However additional pierce points are necessary to define the geometry of the structures in the New Zone area.
SM-19-014 and SM-19-015 tested the western extension of the E-W Pit and successfully intersected zones of chlorite alteration with variable pyrrhotite, pyrite and magnetite, and minor chalcopyrite, in a new N-S structure named the Bugatti structure. The Bugatti structure is interpreted as one of the structures that controls chlorite alteration and gold mineralization shallowly mined in the E-W pit. Additional drilling is however necessary to confirm the geometry of the Bugatti structure.
SM-19-016 tested chlorite structures located between the Scadding Mine and the E-W Pit. Hole SM-19-013 successfully intersected a structure with chlorite alteration and variable pyrrhotite, pyrite, and minor chalcopyrite mineralization. Hole SM-19-016 successfully intersected the down-dip extension of the chlorite structure shallowly intersected in SM-19-013 and it indicates that the intensity of chlorite alteration and gold mineralization increases with depth in the area. The mineralization intersected in SM-19-016 could represent the southern extension of the Daytona Structure intersected in SM-19-004 and marginally in SM-19-013 (low-grade gold mineralization at 49 metres depth)
Holes SM-19-015 and SM-19-019 were testing mineralization associated with the E-W pit but did not intersect any significant gold mineralization as they are now interpreted to have been collared down-dip and beyond the limits of the structure. This was understood after holes SM-19-018, SM-19-022 and SM-19-025 successfully discovered the extension of the Villeneuve Structure and showed that the Villeneuve structure is controlling mineralization in the E-W pit. SM-19-015 intersected zones of REO mineralization in the Espanola formation associated with chlorite alteration.
SM-19-020 tested the extension of the Villeneuve Structure, however it is now known that it was collared too far south and missed the structure. Hole SM-19-020 successfully intersected a wide zone of chlorite alteration hosting a broad zone of REO mineralization
Hole SM-19-021 tested the lateral and down-dip extension of the Villeneuve structure 25 metres east of hole SM-19-018 and successfully intersected the extension of the structure in which the attributes of mineralization were different from hole SM-19-022 and SM-19-025. Hole SM-19-021 intersected gold-cobalt mineralization in a zone richer in pyrrhotite and with less chlorite alteration.
SM-19-023 intersected a diabase dyke.
SM-19-025 tested the western extension of the E-W Pit and shallowly intersected the western extension of the Villeneuve Structure, 90 metres west of SM-19-022. Hole SM-19-025 also discovered a new chlorite zone at depth now known to overlay the Daytona Structure.
SM-20-026 intersected 59.2 g/t gold over 19.07 metres (m) in the Bristol Structure, 18 metres north-east of the intersection of 52 g/t gold over 12 metres in SM-19-001 (see Sept. 26, 2019 News Release).
The on-going 2020 drilling program is well underway with 8 holes drilled so far and pending results which will be released as they are received. The company has already shown that there is VG in holes 31, 32 and 34 which are aimed at extending the mineralized zone around the North Pit on a northwest/southeast trendThe 2020 drilling is confirming that the Bristol-Monaco structural corridor is extending at depth and could yield additional bonanza grade hits as we have seen in holes 001 and 026.
“The first hole of our 2020 drilling program confirms the presence of significant high-grade gold mineralization in the North Pit area of the Scadding Deposit. Holes SM-19-001 and SM-20-026 indicate continuity for a zone of exceptionally high-grade gold mineralization discovered in the North Pit area. This reinforces the potential for a near-surface high-grade gold resource in the North Pit area as our on-going 2020 drilling program continues to expand the footprint of gold mineralization.”
Quentin Yarie, MacDonald’s President and CEO
Most of the holes drilled to date have been rather shallow and the structures remain open at depth. A total of 37 holes have been drilled to date for a total of 6,033 meters. Additional drilling will be focused on building up a resource for their 43-101 and with any luck they will also begin to step out from the Scadding property.
The company just completed a 1 million dollar financing and should be in a good position to drill extensively in 2020! With any kind of success an additional 2 million in warrants could potentially be exercised giving BMK the ability to raise funds without doing another private placement this year.
For a complete summary of the companies financials please visit www.SEDAR.com and or review the companies [insert link] Q4 MDA 2019
Quentin Yarie, President and CEO – Geophysicist with more than 25 years of experience in mineral exploration, Quentin has been involved with projects like the Malartic Mine discovery, Noront’s Nickel discovery and KWG Chromite deposit discovery.
Mia Boiridy, Corporate development – Senior manager with over 24 years of experience in strategic and operational management, establishing and maintaining relationships with stakeholders and increasing shareholder value. President of Red Pine
Jean Francois Montreuil, Ph.D., Chief Geologist – IOCG Specialist with over 10 years of experience in defining complex hydrothermal systems related to base-metals, gold and uranium rich deposits in Canada.
Fiona Fitzmaurice, ACCA, CPA, CGA, Chief Financial Officer – Finance executive with over 12 years of experience in accounting and financial control for both private and publicly listed companies; CFO of Pasofina Gold
After attending the site and seeing how busy the team was working at de risking the project through gaining a better understanding of the controls driving the mineralization, we are confident in our assessment that BMK is undervalued at current prices. While there is still a lot of work to be done, the company is well on its way to proving their IOCG model and could very well be into a large mineralized system. With visible gold showings across the property, we are eagerly awaiting the next round of results and an announcement from the company on their exploration plans moving forward. When weighing risk vs rewards, Macdonald Mines offers investors high upside in comparison to the downside risks associated to the project.
Company Contact Information
Contact- Mia Boiridy
MacDonald Mines is a Sponsor of Insidexploration, however the thoughts and opinions expressed are the authors and do not represent that of the company. The Author currently holds a position but has bought and sold on several occasions and will do so without warning.
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