EDITOR: | July 16th, 2018 | 6 Comments

TerraX’s Campbell on track to pull off another major find in Yellowknife

| July 16, 2018 | 6 Comments

TerraX Minerals Inc.’s (TSXV: TXR) renowned geologist Joe Campbell loves the most remote regions of Canada.

A few years ago, Campbell discovered the Meliadine project in a remote area of Nunavut that reached almost $700 million in a sale to Agnico Eagle Mines Limited. He’s also got a 250 million-ton nickel laterite deposit in Cuba under his belt.

With the proceeds from the Meliadine discovery, Campbell did what so many major mining companies are doing right now: head to a historical mining districts to reassess project economics at old mining sites, eschewing new, riskier areas of the world.

Barrick and Newmont have focused on projects in Nevada in recent years, even though gold was discovered in Eureka County in the 1870s. Both of these companies have suffered disastrous setbacks at more ambitious mining projects in Chile and Peru. Goldcorp’s exploration spend is heavily focused on Ontario and Chile, both mature mining districts.

Yellowknife, the remote capital of Canada’s North Western Territory, experienced a gold rush in the 1940s and was mined and explored up until the mid-1990s before going dormant. Campbell, through TerraX, has gone to take another look.

With 36 years of experience as a geologist, Campbell has spent much of his career with major mining companies, specifically Noranda and Western Mining Corporation.

TerraX has a 772 square kilometer land package, which includes a 70km mineralized strike zone. The project is adjacent to the Con and Giant Mines, two of Canada’s historically highest grade gold mines. The project is broken up into Northbelt, Eastbelt and Southbelt. Most of TerraX’s exploration work has been confined to the Northbelt.

TerraX’s concessions covers the northern extension of the Giant (8.1 Moz. @ 16.0 g/t Au historical production) and Con (6.1 Moz.@ 16.1 g/t Au historical production) gold mines. The Northbelt property lies just north of the Giant Mine site, and is accessible by road from Yellowknife. Recent assay results show 43.7 g/t Au., 28.0 g/t Au, and 19.05 g/t Au on the Gull Lake Zone. These results are thought to show the continuation of the Giant mine.

The entire property is all within 8 km of the city of Yellowknife, close to vital infrastructure, including transportation, service providers, hydro-electric power and skilled tradespeople. Drill costs about $250 per meter, almost half of exploration companies working in remote exploration camps in the Northwest Territories.

Another positive factor is that Yellowknife and indeed Northwest Territories are backing the project. The city’s 20,000 people lived off mining and would welcome an operating mine back in action to continue making a living in a city where temperatures average −26 °C (−15 °F) in January. One of the explorers who was headed for the Klondike gold rush in Alaska found gold in Yellowknife in 1898, but a proper discovery was made in the 1930s, when the Con mine started.

The rate of gold discoveries in the world is declining, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. More than $50 billion spent on gold exploration over the past decade has unearthed 215.5 million ounces of reserves in 41 discoveries. By contrast, companies discovered 1.72 billion ounces among 222 discoveries with a budget of $32.2 billion in the 18 years before that, according to S&P.

With a higher incentive price, that means mines that looked done 30 years ago might now be a good bet. Top geologists such as Campbell know their project economics inside out, and that is why they are much more likely to be seen in an old Canadian mining camp, rather than out in the steppes of Kazakhstan, or deep in the Amazon Jungle.


Matt Craze works with New York-based management consultancy 10EQS and is the founder of Spheric Research, a firm dedicated to global seafood industry research. Matt ... <Read more about Matt Craze>

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  • Jack Lifton

    In 1980 Gold was USD$ 800.00/troy ounce. Factoring in inflation since then that would be equivalent to USD$2,000.00/troy ounce. Gold is either seriously undervalued or it has lost its luster. I choose the latter explanation.

    July 17, 2018 - 10:01 AM

  • Joe O

    i miss your opinions on the ucore boards. Your pal ausheds has been tearing them up!Are you still involved in TMRC? Stock took off last few days. I Know you always thought highly about round top deposit

    July 17, 2018 - 6:42 PM

    • Jack Lifton

      Joe O,
      To the best of my recollection I have only commented on a Ucore bulletin board once or twice. I cannot imagine what Ucore thinks it will accomplish by building a multimetal refinery in Ketchikan, so I have stopped thinking about it.

      I have agreed to be an advisor to TMRC, but I am not involved in the company’s daily operations. I assume that the across the board tariff on metals which are predominantly sourced from China has renewed interest in the broad spectrum of them that could be derived in significant quantities from Roundtop with heap leaching.


      July 17, 2018 - 7:25 PM

  • Joe o

    Thanks for the reply From what I understand they believe they are paying for it with aidea funding. And I believe they think they may be getting doe funding( or their jv partner is) for the large smc plant in Kentucky for coal ash. Think Appalachia on the map from trump Administration. I have no idea on economics of project. Weren’t u on Lexi advisory board also? Isn’t ibc building a superlig plant for them? Gotta admit all this stuff a little over my pay grade. Btw do u have any insights on pure lucid/mgx minerals petrolithium nanofiltration technology? Did know if that was your wheelhouse. Thanks in advance

    July 17, 2018 - 11:11 PM

    • Jack Lifton

      Joe O,
      Lets just look at some of the details of the bonding story. I understand that the Alaska State Legislature authorized a bond issue to support the construction of a mining/refining operation by Ucore in Ketchikan, but this would have to be if and only if the company’s business plan passed a strict due diligence for such bonding. Bonds are not equity investments; they are subsidized/guaranteed debt. As such they must be based on collateral that the State can recover in case of a default. In the case of a bridge for example the collateral could be a share in the future stream of tolls or fees paid by commercial truckers for its use. I don’t know if the State of Alaska would consider, or ever has considered, a future royalty stream from the sale of rare earths as collateral. AIDA is the State Agency that has been funded by the State’s revenues from its oil field royalties. AIDA has strict protocols and levels of return required for its investments, so if it were called upon to fund a Ucore development bond these would have to be met as part of the due diligence. Does this sound as if it’s “in the bag”?

      Next: To the best of my knowledge the DoE has no plans to yet fund any commercial operations to recover rare earths from coal or coal byproducts. The DoE is some 4 years into an internal program to determine how and if such a venture could succeed technically. That program is funded for another 4 years, I believe. All of the details are available on the web site of the National Energy Technology Laboratory(NETL) which is conducting this research.

      As to LEXI. That company has taken the bold step of contracting with IBCAT and paying it to design a pilot production plant to produce between 1000 and 2500 tons per year of lithium carbonate equivalent directly on-site from the company’s brine to be produced in Argentina This will be a production plant and it will validate both the efficacy and scale-up of the IBCAT selective lithium ligand designed for this purpose.

      Finally, I know nothing of the lucid/MGX technology. I have never met or spoken with principals of lucid/MGX.

      Best regards


      July 17, 2018 - 11:52 PM

  • Joe O

    Thanks for your insight as always. I am sure the Ucore stock board (on another sight) will be in a tizzy about it. I am just trying to get a better handle on my speculative investment’s long term potential.

    July 18, 2018 - 2:25 PM

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