There are not a lot of junior exploration companies which have survived for 25 years. Grid Metals (GRDM.V) has, and Robin Dunbar, CEO and President of Grid was happy to speak about the company’s history and prospects in a phone interview.
“Our three main properties were acquired from 1998 to 2005,” said Dunbar. East Bull Lake Palladium Property located near Sudbury Ontario is a highly prospective palladium property. The company commenced drilling at its Bannockburn Nickel Project in April 2021 and its Makwa Mayville Project near Winnipeg in Manitoba has a significant NI 43-101 compliant resource of nickel, copper and platinum group metals.
“We did a deal with prospectors to acquire East Bull Lake,” said Dunbar. “The Ontario Geological Survey had done work on the area. The OGS and subsequent research found that East Bull Lake intrusion was the same age as other palladium bearing intrusions in Canada and around the world In the early 2000’s Falconbridge funded several million dollars of exploration at East Bull
“There have been thirty holes at East Bull drill by Grid since 2020 and other work that is 20 years old,” said Dunbar. “Interesting results. We’re beginning to understand where the palladium sits in the intrusion.”
The next step at East Bull Lake is undertaking a sampling program initially focussing on the East Lobe of the intrusion to identify new drill targets. There are six- or seven-kilometer scale targets within the approximately 20km x 4 km layered intrusion. One of those main targets is the Central Parisien Lake Zone where most of the 30 recent holes were drilled. Follow up drilling is expected to commence in the fall.
GRID has now announced the results of initial metallurgical test work on drill core samples from East Bull. The results of the program showed that a high-grade palladium concentrate (with platinum, gold, copper and nickel credits) can be produced. This type of high-grade concentrate should be attractive to the smelters that will ultimately process the concentrate product. It’s an excellent result for Grid that increases the prospectivity of the project.
Grids’ Bannockburn Nickel project is about 100 km south of Timmins, Ontario and consists of 125 unpatented mining claims. “We bought the property from a Finnish company,” said Dunbar. The property was the subject of an updated 2021 NI 43-101 Technical Report and there has been extensive exploration work on the property including geophysics and 84 drill holes.
At the moment, GRID is awaiting assays on seven holes drilled earlier this year. (The first hole was received and was positive) “We have the historic results and positive results of drilling we did in 2005,” said Dunbar. “The previous drilling and a metallurgical report we commissioned indicates to us we have the same geology as what Canada Nickel (TSXV:CNC) has at their Crawford Project. The pending drill holes will give us an idea of grade and potential tonnage for the low grade bulk tonnage nickel target which has a strike length of about 2 km. “
“In the past, we had been chasing high grade, low tonnage, massive sulfide nickel zones,” said Dunbar. “However, this program will test the low-grade nickel model. Demand for nickel in EVs is expected to rise dramatically over the next decade. The bulk tonnage target at Bannockburn could make sense if the grade and tonnes are high enough and we can demonstrate reasonable nickel recoveries. It’s an exciting target that has been a big winner for Canada Nickel. ”
The third GRID property is the Makwa Mayville copper nickel cobalt PGE deposit located in the Bird River Greenstone Belt approximately 145 km from Winnipeg Manitoba. Grid has a large land position in the Bird River Belt which were acquired from previous operators including Falconbridge. Since 2005 nearly 30 million dollars has been spent establishing a NI 43-101 resource with in situ metal value of approximately $4 billion and including 300,000 ounces of PGE . Significant engineering and metallurgical work has been done on the two deposits to confirm that good metal recoveries and concentrate products should be able to be produced. With the growing demand for these materials for batteries and EV’s the value of the property seems very likely to increase as Grid advances the project by exploration and economic analysis.
From the investor’s perspective GRID is deeply intriguing. Essentially it is a company with three significant assets which has a total market cap of less than 11 million dollars. A single one of those assets, the Makwa Mayville property has a 43-101 resource worth 4 billion dollars. Back in May, when GRID shares were trading above $0.20, the contained metal to market cap ratio was 216X. Now the shares are trading at $0.115 and that ratio is well over 300X.
And that is just one of the GRID projects.
At some point, GRID will have a catalyst event. It might be a rich drill hole, it might be a deal to bring one of its properties into production, but whatever it is it will attract the market’s attention to this hugely undervalued set of assets. There was a point in 2007 when the unrolled back GRID shares traded above $15.00.
Junior explorers can be frustrating for investors for years. Good properties, good management, good results and the share price just sits there. Until it doesn’t. With its current market cap, GRID offers investors the opportunity to buy solid assets for less than a penny on the dollar.