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Mineral company gets grant for exploration of Island Lake nickel deposit

Wolfden Resources Corporation said Dec. 5 it is getting $275K from the Manitoba Mineral Development Fund.
A map of a nickel deposit in the Island Lake region that Wolfden Resources Corporation will conduct further exploration on with help from a Manitoba Mineral Development Fund grant.

A Thunder Bay-based mineral exploration and development company is getting a $275,000 grant to support exploration of its property containing deposits of nickel and other metals in the Island Lake area.

Wolfden Resources Corporation said Dec. 5 that it is receiving a grant from the Manitoba Mineral Development Fund to help its exploration of the property, which was electromagnetically surveyed from the air in 2016.

“We appreciate the generous grant, it’s a strong endorsement for Wolfden and the potential to expand the deposit,” said Wolfden CEO Ron Little. “In addition, it demonstrates the Manitoba government’s continued forward-looking commitment in supporting critical and strategic-metal mineral exploration and the importance of the mineral extraction industry in creating jobs and other associated economic benefits, for the Island Lake communities. Wolfden will more than match the funds of the grant in the coming exploration program.”

Wolfden said in a press release that it recently received its work permit to begin winter exploration from the province and that it intends to hold further community consultations with First Nations in the region before drill testing areas believed to have significant deposits of nickel as well as other metals like copper, cobalt, gold, palladium and platinum.

The company also has plans to work with nearby First Nations to set up a jointly owned mining services company to help support exploration and further mineral resource development in the region.

A successor program to the Mining Community Reserve Fund, which was intended to provide assistance to mining communities affected by shutdowns due to ore depletion as well as support mineral exploration in Manitoba, the MMDF is funded by a $20 million initial contribution from the provincial government as well as up to six per cent of of annual revenues under the Mining Tax Act. Communities, businesses and organizations including Indigenous groups, municipalities and not-for-profit entities can apply for funding and assistance can include one-time grants for activities to advance new mining opportunities and outreach to First Nations for collaborative resource development. The fund is administered by the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce and aligns with the priorities of the provincial government’s Look North task force and action plan for the Northern Manitoba economy, which identified mineral development as important to the long-term economic prosperity of the province and highlighted the importance of building stronger partnerships in the north to advance economic growth and development.

“The MMDF is pleased to be able to assist in a project like Nickel Island that is known to contain critical metals of nickel, copper, and cobalt in a very prospective mineral belt,” stated MMDF chair Chuck Davidson, who is also the CEO of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. “The project is consistent with the MMDF’s priority and objective to jump-start mineral exploration initiatives in Manitoba that could capitalize on existing mineral assets and infrastructure, in an effort to strengthen and diversify economic opportunities, particularly in the northern part of the province.”

Wolfden previously received a $230,000  MMDF grant in 2021 to support diamond drilling of its Rice Island property near Snow Lake.

The company says its two Manitoba properties with nickel sulphide deposits could be significant development projects with potential to support the growing battery and electric vehicle markets.

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