Canada's Next Primary Cobalt Producer
The earliest recorded claim staking in the Werner Lake area appears to have been about 1921 when the discovery of what was to become the Werner Lake mine was made. This property eventually came under the control of Falconbridge predecessor, Ventures Limited and achieved some production of cobalt ore between 1932 and 1944. Subsequently Falconbridge undertook more exploration including diamond drilling in 1957. They optioned their claims to Canmine in 1995, who earned a 100% interest in them.
Not until 1942 were the first claims staked over the Gordon Lake deposit. This property was worked on by several companies including Noranda (1942-1945) and INCO (1945-1952). Consolidated Canadian Faraday Ltd eventually took control of a large consolidated block; which company in turn came under the control of Conwest Exploration Limited. Canmine bought a large number of claims from Conwest in 1995.
Just prior to the bankruptcy of Canmine they optioned part of their property to Atikwa Minerals Limited who also optioned the Norpax property and undertook an exploration program focused on the area around the Norpax property. The work included surface sampling and diamond drilling.
The historic work falls into three phases. The early production and resource delineation period, the Canmine work period and the Atikwa work period.
In the mid nineteen nineties Canmine Resources Corporation assembled a mineral claims and land package which included most of the past producing areas in the camp and also residual resources referenced in old reports as not having been mined. Geophysical surveys followed by diamond drilling were successful at expanding known mineral zones and finding new ones in the vicinity of prior workings. Werner Lake is characterized by small but more numerous lenses of mineralisation with clearly evident structural control and multiple metals having grades at levels where each could be considered as the primary economic component of the mineralized rock.
Canmine initially pursued exploration with drilling and resource expansion leading to engineering, metallurgical and environmental studies to scope out a pre-feasibility level assessment of the property. The company also developed an interest in cobalt as the primary commodity and envisaged production being utilized to provide feedstock for a cobalt refinery they were establishing at Cobalt, Ontario. Inability to equity finance the projects led to the company seeking protection under the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act of Ontario. Commerce Capital Inc. then acquired title to the mineral rights and associated surface rights of the property and through a plan of arrangement with 2042708 Ontario Ltd. Puget made arrangements to acquire the properties from Commerce.
The current property was assembled in the late 2000's, to include much of the Canmine land package, (via Commerce Capital Inc. following Canmine entering into receivership), the West adjacent Norpax property, several mining claims, plus more recently, property obtained from Benton Resources.
From December, 2009 to May, 2010, Puget Ventures Inc. completed a 33 diamond drill hole programme totaling 7565.3 metres as part of an exploration & resource estimate programme, on its Werner Lake property, north-western Ontario.
The primary goal of the programme was to increase known mineralisation obtained from previous drilling, & aid in the calculation of a resource for the Werner Lake & West Werner Lake Cobalt-Nickel-Copper deposits.
- BNN Conversation with Erin Chutter, President of Puget Ventures
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