Canada’s prairie province of Saskatchewan has a surprising number of mineral commodities and hosts and has hosted mines in many locales: uranium, potash, copper, zinc, gold, nickel cobalt, rare earths and more.
The La Ronge-Flin Flon area is a highly prospective mineral area from many perspectives: It is underlain by prospective pre-Cambrian greenstone belt and granitoid rocks that host a variety of base metal, precious metal and critical rare earth elements deposits
The Flin Flon Snow Lake greenstone belt straddles the border with Manitoba and is the most prolific VMS (volcanic massive sulphides) belt in the world. Whereas the Iberian Pyrite Belt in Spain and Portugal hosts giant lead-zinc-rich VMS deposits, the Flin Flon Snow Lake belt hosts over 30 copper-zinc VMS deposits that have been mined and several deposits that are still under exploration and development. With all that significant mining activity, major infrastructure has been built, including rail and road access, a smelter, and hydro-electric power at Island Falls to run this metals complex.
The Flin Flon Snow Lake belt also hosts over 30 gold deposits, some former producers and some advanced prospects. In comparison to the base metals exploration that has taken place, gold development has been modest which presents exploration opportunities.
There are various other greenstone belts in the La Ronge-Flin Flon area that are part of the Trans Hudson Corridor which have received less attention. The pro-mining Saskatchewan government has recognized that Flin Flon’s major mine is scheduled to be shut down as reserves are depleted in the next twelve months, and has proactively encouraged mining in the Flin Flon- La Ronge area through a number of supportive measures.
These include a Provincial tax credit of 10% supplemental to Federal write offs and credits.(Province-wide). There are also direct cash grants for drilling in the area of up to $50,000 per drill program (Flin Flon-La Ronge area only). In addition, there are modern geological mapping surveys, Provincial/Federal funded VTEM surveys, modest land ownership costs and even responsive COVID-19 relief for assessment work for 2020.
Adding it all up, for these reasons Saskatchewan is a welcoming and prospective jurisdiction for mineral exploration.
Searchlight Resources Inc. [SCLT-TSXV; CNYCF-OTC; 2CC2-FSE] is a resource exploration company with a growing portfolio of high-quality, advanced-stage exploration projects hosting a variety of metals that close to existing infrastructure in Canada’s premier mining jurisdiction of Saskatchewan
Searchlight’s primary project, Bootleg Lake, is a high-grade gold project near the mining centre of Flin Flon. Three small scale mines have produced high-grade gold from this 54 km2 property. The property covers two large scale exploration targets, a major shear zone prospective for gold and a belt of volcanic rocks prospective for VMS copper-zinc-gold deposits.
Bootleg Lake is just 5 km Flin Flon, Manitoba, home to Hudbay’s 777 underground copper-zinc-gold-silver mine, mill and smelter complex. The 777 mine lies within the prolific Flin Flon-Snow Lake Greenstone Belt. With the closure of the 777 mine slated for 2022, HudBay is exploring the region for more ore feed.
Searchlight’s diverse metals portfolio includes several other Saskatchewan-based projects including properties that are highly prospective for gold, copper, nickel, zinc, cobalt, vanadium, and rare earth elements.
In addition to its primary projects, Searchlight Resources has begun exploring new projects through staking. In September 2020, Searchlight announced the staking of a 29.7 km2 claim covering the Reef Lake Nickel Copper target in north-central Saskatchewan approximately 150 km north of La Ronge and has seen limited exploration including 27 drill holes completed between 1956 and 1957. Results from this initial drill work returned 37.8 metres averaging 0.37% nickel, including a 9.8-metre interval assaying 0.66% nickel and 0.28% copper.
To complement its holdings in Saskatchewan, Searchlight staked 347.2 km2 of claims in the Wapawekka Lake Greenstone Belt in September 2020, giving the company a nearly-contiguous block of claims in the western section of the belt. The western section of the claims is accessible by road and approximately two-thirds of the property is accessible via boat from Wapawekka Lake, providing the company with year-round exploration potential. The Searchlight property has been surveyed by a modern VTEM geophysical survey funded by a federal-provincial initiative.
The company also holds the cobalt-copper-vanadium-uranium Duddridge Lake advanced exploration project, the Kulyk Lake rare earths project and the Hanson Lake rare metals project.
Searchlight Resources Highlights
- Advancing the Bootleg Lake Project which offers high-grade gold and VMS targets in the Flin Flon area as well as historical resources.
- Exploring a portfolio of properties in Canada’s top-rated mining jurisdiction.
- Advancing its project portfolio through acquisition via staking, including the Reef Lake Nickel Copper project.
- Controls a block of claims in Saskatchewan’s Wapawekka Lake Greenstone Belt.
The Bootleg Lake Gold Project
Searchlight, with a 51% interest in the Bootleg project, is earning a 75% interest in 2021. The Project hosts high-grade gold and base-metal volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS) targets near the town of Creighton, Saskatchewan. The Bootleg property contains three past-producing gold mines with non-NI-43-101 compliant historic resources in various categories totaling 139,520 calculated ounces of gold. The Rio Mine has a modern decline tunnel 1.5 kilometres in length complete with underground stope development that is potentially useful for underground exploration and/or production following dewatering and rehabilitation. There are also a number of additional gold and copper occurrences on the project. Excellent exploration infrastructure is in place, offering the potential for lower cost exploration at Bootleg Lake.
“With multiple high-grade gold targets including historical estimates and within minutes’ drive of the mining center of Flin Flon, Manitoba, Bootleg Lake represents a high-quality prospect with low cost exploration,” said Stephen Wallace, P. Geo, President and CEO.
Near-term exploration targets
Management believes a large-scale target lies in the Rio fault corridor with more than three kilometers of strike length from the Rio mine to the Henning-Maloney mine and continuing west. Recent drilling near the Henning-Maloney Mine confirmed encouraging gold assays across multiple near surface structures, including a high-grade intersection of 31.59 g/t gold over one metre. Recent drilling has tripled the depth of known gold mineralization at Henning-Maloney.
The Searchlight management team has many years of financial, exploration and development experience and have previously held senior management positions. They include Stephen Wallace, President and CEO; Peter Ball, Mining Technologist, Haileybury School of Mines, Independent Director; Peter Dueck, P.Geo., MBA, Independent Director; John Kerr, P.Eng., Geologist, Independent Director; and Alfred Stewart, B.Sc., Geology, MBA, Chairman.
Searchlight Resources has 101,602,390 shares outstanding. On June 2, shares were trading at $0.10, for a market cap of $10.4 million.
In addition to operating in the mining-friendly province of Saskatchewan, the Searchlight Resources projects cover a wide variety of mineral commodities currently in demand.