Platinex Acquires W2 Copper-Nickel-PGE Project Near Ring of Fire

Platinex Acquires W2 Copper-Nickel-PGE Project Near Ring of Fire

After acquiring the W2 Copper-Nickel-PGE project in Ontario, Platinex adopted a new dual strategy by going back to its roots, which involved platinum group elements (PGE), but is also in the process of revitalizing its large and prospective Shining Tree gold exploration project in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt, also in Ontario, writes The Critical Investor.

Preview:

Platinex Inc. (PTX:CSE; 9PX:FSE) is developing quite an attractive asset portfolio in Ontario, Canada. The company already owns the highly prospective and strategically located district-scale Shining Tree gold project and very recently acquired the W2 Copper-Nickel-PGE project. Additionally, Platinex holds numerous net smelter return (NSR) royalties in its portfolio.

In the last year, management and board were strengthened, and a high-quality core investor base came in following these changes, providing additional value and support. The stock is coming off long time lows, and remains at an attractive entry point for new investors. Backed by its new investor base, the company is looking to raise money soon.

It is anticipated that strong drill results, positive metal price movements, and renewed enthusiasm in the Ring of Fire after the recently finalized acquisition of Noront by Wyloo Metals could provide substantial catalysts for share price appreciation in 2022. Potential new and complementary asset acquisitions could provide an additional boost. In addition, in the first half of 2022 the company will be looking at other strategic transactions to potentially enhance shareholder value without significant dilution.

Investors are encouraged to review the Key Points at the end of this article for a quick snapshot of the company.

Introduction

Platinex is a junior mining company exploring mineral properties in Ontario, Canada. The company has adopted a dual strategy: it will continue its gold exploration activities at the Shining Tree gold project in southwest Timmins, and is also entering the battery metals space now through the acquisition of the W2 Copper-Nickel-PGE project in the Ring of Fire region. Demand for battery metals such as copper, nickel and PGEs (platinum group elements including platinum and palladium), is at historical highs, with future growth expected due to the unstoppable electrification and durable energy paradigm shift.

The Shining Tree gold project has been the company’s main focus for a long time, as it has been in the company since 2008. After a quiet period during the 2013–2015 bear market, the company approached Shining Tree with renewed vigor in 2017, expanding the project over five times, and completing reconnaissance exploration programs including channel sampling, mapping, and gold in till sampling, with strong results. More recently an airborne magnetics survey was completed, and a LIDAR survey will be done soon.

After this, drill targets will be selected, with the company aiming to begin the next drill program at Shining Tree in the near term, pending the closing of an upcoming capital raise. The Shining Tree asset is viewed as a strategic asset for the company. With a large land package in an active camp including Alamos Gold (AGI.TO), IAMGold (IMG.TO), Aris Gold (ARIS.TO) and many quality juniors, there is an real opportunity for the Shining Tree camp to contain another Coté Gold deposit, which located to the west.

On January 17, 2022, the company expanded its horizon, and acquired the large W2 Copper-Nickel-PGE project from a private owner, returning the company to its historical roots and in keeping with the name Platinex. As copper and nickel are both very important to the ongoing paradigm shift towards electrification, the W2 project fits perfectly with the new strategy. The next step for Platinex at W2 will be to complete a comprehensive data compilation and obtain an exploration permit. Following this, the company will be able to commence drilling of targets that have already been identified but remain untested, and carry out prospecting and geophysical surveys to identify and refine new targets.

W2 project

It seems Platinex Inc. has timed its acquisition of a 100% interest in the W2 project well, as Wyloo acquired nearby Noront (NOT.V) for C$616.9 million after a bidding war with a formidable competitor: BHP. As BHP is known for doing extremely thorough due diligence on its transactions, it seems certain the company saw compelling reasons to bypass the usual Ring of Fire objections, as this area still has been underdeveloped due to lack of infrastructure. The Ring of Fire is viewed as one of the most promising mining opportunities in Ontario for more than a century.

After a total of C$278 million in exploration has been carried out in the Ring of Fire so far, numerous significant discoveries involving chromite, copper, nickel, zinc, gold and PGEs are waiting for the first initiatives on building mining projects and accompanying infrastructure, potentially with the help of Ontario, the province with the most revenues coming from mining across Canada.

In the meantime, Platinex will be exploring its new project as soon as possible, to potentially prove up a significant deposit. The W2 project has seen significant exploration so far, ranging from sampling to airborne surveys to 8,772 meters (m) of drilling. Drill results for the property were impressive:

  • 6 m of 0.56% copper equivalent (CuEq) or 0.956 grams per tonne (g/t) palladium equivalent (PdEq) (LH-01-06)
  • 6 m of 0.57% CuEq or 0.971 g/t PdEq including 17 m of 1.08% CuEq or 1.86 g/t PdEq (LH-01-05)
  • 42 m of 1.02% CuEq or 1.8 g/t PdEq including a high grade 4.5 m section of 4.52 g/t PdEq (LH-01-02)

Most results were intercepted close to surface, indicating substantial open pit potential. Numerous targets have been identified, and the T5 target appears to have the same geophysical signature as Eagle’s Nest (Noront/Wyloo).

Therefore it is likely the company will start drilling at these targets soon after permits are granted.

Shining Tree

Besides the W2 project, Platinex has also assembled another impressive property: the 100% owned Shining Tree gold project in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt in Ontario, home to some of the richest gold mineralization worldwide, with total production surpassing a staggering 180 million ounces (Moz). The company has expanded this asset into an impressive 21,720 hectare land package, located strategically in between adjacent projects owned by IAMGold (the aforementioned Coté Gold > 6.5 Moz gold (Au), going into production in 2023, and Gosselin), Aris Gold (Juby, 2.3 Moz Au) and Orefinders (ORX.V) (Knight).

As can be seen, the property encompasses over 20 km of the prospective Ridout-Tyrell Deformation Zone, which is also host to the aforementioned Coté Gold and Juby deposits. The Shining Tree project is located at the crossing of the Larder Lake Fault, which is home to some of the largest gold deposits in Canada, and the Michiwakenda Lake Fault. Platinex has completed gold in till sampling in the past, outlining significant anomalies:

Platinex also completed a 51 drill hole program a while ago at the Herrick target, and hit gold at almost every hole, with highlights accounting for 7.15m @2.76 g/t Au, 46.3m @0.65 g/t Au, 7.2m @2.38 g/t Au, 14.1m @1.2 g/t Au and 12.2m @1.47 g/t Au, all within open pit depths.

Mineralization at the Herrick target is open at depth, and management hopes to find more mineralization at depth, as lots of deposits in the Abitibi show these characteristics. Besides Herrick, there are many more targets to be drill-tested, and management is currently outlining plans for this at the moment as mentioned.

Royalty portfolio

Platinex also holds an interesting portfolio of royalties on projects located in Ontario, with for example a 2.5% NSR on Big Trout Lake (PGM-Ni-Cu-Cr), a 1% NSR on a claim block in the Ring of Fire (Au-Ni-Cu-PGM-Cr) and a 1% NSR on a part of the Shining Tree project. The company also holds a 2% NSR from Newmont (NGT.TO) on the Sonia-Puma Au-Cu property in Chile. Platinex’s current strategy for its royalty portfolio encompasses the creation of interesting royalties on both Shining Tree and the new W2 property, in turn creating a substantial royalty portfolio that in the future could be monetized by selling or spinning out.

Share structure

There are 161.65  million shares outstanding (fully diluted 214.65  million), 38.1 million warrants (average strike price of C$0.095) and incentive stock options issued to the tune of 15 million options. Platinex has a current market capitalization of C$7.2 million based on the January 18, 2022 share price of C$0.045. 

Platinex Inc, 1 year timeframe (Source: tmxmoney.com)

The current cash position of Platinex is approximately C$0.5 million, and the company will be looking to raise additional funds soon. Shares are tightly held, as management holds no less than 12% of the current shares outstanding (CEO Greg Ferron holds 2%), Treasury Metals (TML.TO) holds 10%, Alamos Gold 3.5%, European HNW’s with strong ties to management hold 25.5%, and the company also enjoys approximately 7% institutional ownership.

Management

CEO Greg Ferron: Mr. Ferron has 20 years of mining industry and capital markets experience. He has held various senior level roles in mining, corporate finance, corporate development, and investor relations – including at Laramide Resources Ltd. (LAM.TO), Treasury Metals Inc., TMX Group and Scotiabank. Mr. Ferron has significant diverse merger and acquisitions experience, including Laramide’s Westwater ISR project acquisition, and more recently the Goldlund project acquisition as CEO of Treasury Metals, creating one of Canada’s largest gold developers. Mr. Ferron is also a director of Fancamp Exploration Inc (FNC.V).

Non-Executive Chairman James Trusler: Chairman of the Board of the company, 1998 to present; CEO and President of the company 1998–2018, 2019 to 2021; President, J. R. Trusler & Associates (mineral consultant), 1995 to present. Geological Engineer with over 45 years of exploration experience with a history of discovery (multiple Ni-Cu-PGM deposits at the Raglan Nickel mine, owned by Glencore) and strategic acquisitions of world-class scale gold, uranium and Ni-Cu-PGE deposits.

Director Felix Lee: Mr. Lee is an economic geologist and senior executive with over 30 years of business and project management experience in the minerals industry both in Canada and internationally. Mr. Lee completed his tenure as Director and Principal Consultant to CSA Global Canada in 2019 and was previously owner and President of the predecessor Toronto-based geological consultancy ACA Howe International Limited. Felix Lee is currently the President of Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (“PDAC”) the largest such mining industry organization in the world.

Finance Committee: Frank Hoegel: His background includes more than 20 years of direct experience in the mining industry, and a successful track record as an international financier/investor. He currently manages a natural resource fund, sits on the advisory board of Concept Capital Management, and sits on the board of several TSX Venture listed companies.

Finance Committee: Olivier Crottaz: Independent asset manager who founded Crottaz Finance. 30 years in the Swiss banking business as senior portfolio manager and tactical asset allocator at UBS and Credit Suisse as managing director.

Technical Committee: Lorne Burden: Senior manager with over 30 years experience, recently Manager Corporate Development and Senior Geologist Logistics at Royal Nickel Corporation. Former Director of PDAC.

Technical Committee: Blaine Webster: Experienced Geophysicist, Discovered 4 Moz Au property, Completed 1,500 geophysical surveys in 35 countries as President of JVX Ltd. Former President Goldeye Exploration Ltd. President Golden Mallard Corp.

Key points

  • On January 17, 2022, Platinex acquired the W2 Copper-Nickel-PGE property in Ontario, close to the prospective Ring of Fire area, which is home to large chromite, base-, and precious metal deposits
  • Platinex also fully owns the prospective 21,720 hectare Shining Tree gold project, which is located strategically between other gold projects nearby
  • The Shining Tree gold project contains 21 km of the prolific Ridout-Tyrell Deformation Zone, which in turn contains the 6.5 Moz Coté Gold deposit (IAMGold), and the 2.3 Moz Juby gold deposit (Aris Gold)
  • The company plans to conduct exploration programs on both projects in 2022
  • Platinex also has an interesting royalty portfolio on copper, zinc, chromite, gold and PGE properties in Canada and Chile.
  • Platinex has experienced management, and enjoys strong financial backing by Treasury Metals, a few institutions and a group of powerful European investors
  • Platinex is valued at an attractive entry point at the moment, with a tiny market cap of just C$7.2 million

With its recent acquisition of the W2 Copper-Nickel-PGE project just completed as part of its new dual strategy, a new CEO, and new strategic backers coming in, and the large, prospective Shining Tree gold project ready to explore, Platinex seems to be shifting gears now. After the upcoming raise is closed, the company will be ready to execute on new exploration programs for both W2 and Shining Tree, which already have seen strong results in the past and have lots of mineralized potential. It will be interesting to see how far Platinex management can take these two large, very intriguing land packages.    

This article is also published on www.criticalinvestor.eu. To never miss a thing, please subscribe to my free newsletter, in order to get an email notice of my new articles soon after they are published.

The Critical Investor is a newsletter and comprehensive junior mining platform, providing analysis, blog and newsfeed and all sorts of information about junior mining. The editor is an avid and critical junior mining stock investor from The Netherlands, with an MSc background in construction/project management. Number cruncher at project economics, looking for high-quality companies, mostly growth/turnaround/catalyst-driven to avoid too much dependence/influence of long-term commodity pricing/market sentiments, and often looking for long-term deep value.

Getting burned in the past himself at junior mining investments by following overly positive sources that more often than not avoided to mention (hidden) risks or critical flaws, The Critical Investor learned his lesson well, and goes a few steps further ever since, providing a fresh, more in-depth, and critical vision on things, hence the name.

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The author is not a registered investment advisor, and currently has a long position in this stock. Platinex Inc. is a sponsoring company. All facts are to be checked by the reader. For more information go to www.platinex.com and read the company’s profile and official documents on www.sedar.com, also for important risk disclosures. This article is provided for information purposes only, and is not intended to be investment advice of any kind, and all readers are encouraged to do their own due diligence, and talk to their own licensed investment advisors prior to making any investment decisions.

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