It has been 62 years since the first bit cut core on the Thompson Brothers lithium property. In the ensuing years, numerous companies and several successful drill campaigns have turned the property situated on the northeastern shore of Wekusko Lake into a hive of activity and a positive prospect for the otherwise struggling economy of Northern Manitoba. It seems logical, that if markets for smartphones and electric vehicles are growing now and expected to expand in the future, lithium will remain one of the hotter commodities worldwide.
A newly formed private company called Snow Lake Resources (SNOW) is in the process of going public in the New Year. SNOW will be the vehicle tasked with proving up and expanding the resource within the Thompson Brothers property. The current JORC resource (a mandatory system for the classification of mineral exploration results) stands at 6.3 million tonnes at 1.38 per cent Li2O, as defined by the previous operator of the project, Nova Minerals.
The current Snow Lake Resources project manager is Dale Schultz; he’s been involved with the project for about a year. In that time, 4,805m has been drilled on three different Pegmatite dykes (geological occurrences that host rare minerals) within the Thompson Brothers Cluster.
Contacted by phone and email, Schultz advised that pending SNOW’s early 2019 initial public offering (IPO), there are plans to drill a further 12,000m in the first quarter of the year. “We plan on drilling 10,000m at the Thompson Brother Cluster,” Schultz said. This is in the area that the 6.3 million tonne resource estimate was completed on. He notes that the resource in this area is open at depth and along strike to the north-east and south-west. “During the winter drill campaign, we will drill around 2,000m at the Sherritt Gordon Cluster, where historical drilling from 1942 confirms spodumene (a source of lithium) at shallow depths of less than 20 metres,” he said. “We expect to hit these dykes between 100 to 200 metres below the surface. There is also a possibility of drilling on the newly discovered Grass River Dyke, where a recent prospecting sample returned a value of 3.78 per cent Li2O.”
Currently, SNOW is focused on proving up the resource and expanding on the project in respect to the recent discovery within the Grass River area. The company intends to complete their winter drill program in order to achieve an inferred resource and a Preliminary Economic Assessment (PEA) by the end of 2019. They, of course, want to complete that PEA prior to beginning any discussion in relation to exploitation of the resource.
With a 62-year history behind the property, many may wonder what makes this project and SNOW special. “This project is led by a capable team, intent on fast tracking development of the Thompson Brothers lithium project and maximizing shareholder value,” said Schultz. “Since I started this project, I drilled 2800m into the known TB1 and TB2 dykes, and every hole hit spodumene. TB1 and TB2 host 100 per cent of the JORC resource. In fact, our last hole was the best hole yet (TBL-24 = 1.55 per cent Li2O over 23 metres). The project is now 100 per cent controlled by Snow Lake Resources. We have a 10,000m resources drill program planned on the TB1-/TB-2 Dykes, with a further 2,000m designed to define the Sherritt Gordon Cluster and possibly drill a few holes on the Grass River Dyke (GR-1) where a recent sample returned an assayed at 3.78 per cent Li2O. Also, our land package consists of 5,596 hectares, with only 5 per cent having been explored to date. We are intent on creating a stable source lithium supply to end user battery manufacturers and providing jobs to the good people of Snow Lake … who we honour with our company name,” he added.
Schultz says that he senses Snow Lake wants to be a source of job creation in Manitoba. “In light of recent events in Flin Flon, our goal is to have completed a positive feasibility study on the Snow Lake Lithium assets and commence mine construction by 2021,” he said. “With the support of government and the people of Snow Lake, we aspire to be a source of employment for Manitobans in the coming years.”